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APAC Annual Meeting Held in Anaheim, California

The 2023 Asia Pacific Accreditation Body Cooperation (APAC) Annual Meeting took place from June 23 to July 1, 2023, at the JW Marriott Resort in Anaheim, California. This marked a significant milestone as it was the first in-person annual meeting for APAC since 2019, due to the pandemic. The event drew over 150 delegates from 27 economies who came together for this important gathering.


The APAC 2023 meeting was hosted by APAC’s Full Members based in the United States of America, which included the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA), AIHA Laboratory Accreditation Programs (AIHA-LAP), ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB), International Accreditation Service (IAS), IOAS, Perry Johnson Laboratory Accreditation, Inc. (PJLA), and United Accreditation Foundation (UAF).


The event’s schedule commenced on Friday, June 23, with a select group participating in the APAC-PTB ADAPT WG / PSC Meeting. Additionally, the APAC MRA Management Committee meeting, the Executive Committee meeting and a two-day APAC Nominated Evaluator Training were held starting on June 24th. Over the weekend, members of the Joint ILAC/IAF Communication & Marketing (CMC) also convened for discussions.


The official Opening Session took place on Monday, June 26th, and began with a warm welcome from Jennifer Evans, APAC Chair, and CEO of NATA. Jennifer was followed by Raj Nathan, APAC Vice Chair and President of IAS, who extended a warm welcome on behalf of the host economy, the United States. Raj also introduced the leaders of all the U.S. Host Accreditation Bodies.

The Opening Session featured a cultural presentation by Red Boy Productions, a Native American Dance Troupe that showcased traditional dances from multiple tribes and provided insight into their culture. The Opening Session also featured presentations from notable individuals such as Stephen Faessel, Anaheim City Council Member; Kent Shigetomi, Director of the Multilateral Non-Tariff Barriers Office at the U.S. Trade Representative; Rick Titus, Accreditation Assets & Strategy Manager for UL Solutions; Sam Palmer, Former Assistant Director for the Clark County Department of Building and Fire Safety in Las Vegas, Nevada; DeAnn Benesh, Past President of AOAC International; and Osama Younan, General Manager and Superintendent for the City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety. These presentations primarily centered on the regulatory perspectives of accreditation and the significance of mutual recognition across international borders.


The Opening Session concluded with a panel discussion featuring presentations by members of the U.S. host accreditation bodies. The theme for the panel discussion was “United States and Accredited Conformity Assessment Structure in Support of Global Supply Chains”. The presentations and discussions underscored how the United States has benefited from the principles of the World Trade Organization, including the promotion of fair competition among Accreditation Bodies. It was highlighted that the presence of multiple Accreditation Bodies competing within the same market in the U.S. has positively impacted promptness, customer service, and, most importantly, choice. To cap off Monday evening, a Welcome Reception was held on the rooftop of the J.W. Marriott, featuring a DJ for entertainment and a breathtaking view of the fireworks display from Disneyland.

Throughout the week, delegates actively participated in Working Groups and Technical Committee meetings, addressing the MLA/MRA activities of APAC. The APAC Communication & Promotion Committee also convened to explore ways to promote accreditation and highlight the work undertaken by the various APAC committees.


With the APAC community reuniting in person after four years, the overarching theme was to “Celebrate Accreditation”. The hosts organized several social events for members. One of the standout moments of the meeting was the Hollywood-themed Cocktail Reception and Official Banquet Dinner held on Thursday evening. Participants particularly enjoyed the live music, magician performances, and caricature artists that added to the evening’s entertainment.


Upon the conclusion of the APAC 2023 Annual Meetings, the host economy distributed a survey link to gather feedback from attendees regarding the Annual Meeting. Attendees expressed high satisfaction with various aspects of the event, however noted opportunities to shorten the meeting timeframe. Overwhelmingly, attendees noted that face-to-face interactions with both familiar and new colleagues were a highlight of the Annual Meetings.