AFRAC Now Recognised Under the ILAC MRA

The African Accreditation Cooperation (AFRAC) is an association of accreditation bodies, sub-regional accreditation cooperations and stakeholders (ABs). The accreditation body members are officially recognised by their national governments to assess organisations that carry out conformity assessment services against international standards.
AFRAC is therefore one of the main pillars of the Pan African Quality Infrastructure system in supporting intra-African trade, improving the competitiveness of African goods and services in the global market and facilitating health and safety of the public and the environment.

AFRAC coordinates and leads the African 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 African community and the global economy.

AFRAC has been a Regional Cooperation Body (RCB) member of ILAC since 2011.

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 August 2016 to January 2018, a joint ILAC and IAF evaluation team consisting of five evaluators, carried out an evaluation of AFRAC to consider the recognition of the AFRAC MRA 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 AFRAC’s compliance with the requirements for a recognised region:

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

As a result of the recent ILAC Arrangement Council ballot, a decision was taken to accept AFRAC as a recognised region of ILAC and, in particular, the recognition of the AFRAC MRA to the ILAC MRA was granted for the calibration and testing (ISO/IEC 17025), medical testing (ISO 15189), laboratory and inspection body (ISO/IEC 17020) accreditation programs.