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» ARAC Now Recognised Under the ILAC MRA

    The Arab Accreditation Cooperation (ARAC) is an association of national accreditation bodies (ABs). The accreditation bodies are officially recognised by their national governments to assess organisations that carry out conformity assessment services against international standards. ARAC is therefore one of the main pillars of the Pan Arab quality infrastructure system in supporting intra-regional trade and the Arab Customs Union requirements.

    ARAC coordinates and leads the Arab accreditation infrastructure to allow the results of conformity assessment services in one country, to be accepted by regulators and the market place in another country without further examination, for the benefit of the Arab community and the global economy.

    ARAC has been a Regional Cooperation Body (RCB) member of ILAC since 2012.

    Formal recognition of RCB’s under the ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) is based on an evaluation of the RCB’s competence to operate an MRA by an ILAC team composed of independent peer evaluators from other ILAC recognised RCBs and accreditation bodies.

    From September 2016 to July 2017, a joint ILAC and IAF evaluation team consisting of four evaluators, carried out an evaluation of ARAC to consider the recognition of the ARAC MLA to the ILAC MRA for the accreditation of conformity assessment bodies (CABs) for testing, medical testing, calibration and inspection.

    This evaluation process included the following activities to confirm ARAC’s compliance with the requirements for a recognised region:

    • Documentation review
    • On site evaluation of the ARAC secretariat
    • On site observation of ARAC performing the evaluation of three ABs for laboratory, inspection and certification activities
    • Observation of ARAC’s decision making process

    During the ILAC Arrangement Council Meeting on the 28th of October 2017, the final evaluation report was reviewed and a decision was taken to accept ARAC as a recognised region of ILAC and, in particular, the recognition of the ARAC MLA to the ILAC MRA was granted for calibration and testing (ISO/IEC 17025), medical testing (ISO 15189) and laboratory and inspection body accreditation programs (ISO/IEC 17020).