ILAC-WADA cooperation: update on activities

MoU between ILAC and WADA to be renewed

The International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) officially formalized their partnership by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 15 November 2007 at the 3rd World Conference on Doping in Sport held in Madrid, Spain. After the initial signing of the MoU in 2007, the document underwent several revisions. The ILAC-WADA MoU has been reviewed and ratified every 3 years as follows:

  • October 2010 – at the ILAC General Assembly in Shanghai, China;
  • November 2013 – at the 4th World Conference on Doping in Sport in Johannesburg, South Africa;
  • November 2016 – at the ILAC General Assembly in New Delhi, India.

In 2016, ILAC and WADA agreed to increase the duration of the MoU terms and conditions from three (3) to five (5) years. Consequently, the ILAC-WADA MoU is currently undergoing its regular review process by both organizations, and it is scheduled to be ratified by the ILAC Chair, Ms Etty Fellar, and WADA President, Mr. Witold Bańka, at the WADA Foundation Board meeting to be held on 25 November 2021 in Paris, France.

ILAC-WADA Liaison Group

As stipulated in the ILAC-WADA MoU, the ILAC-WADA Joint Working Group (also known as ILAC-WADA Liaison Group) is the main forum for coordinating the collaboration between WADA and the ILAC Full Member Accreditation Bodies (ABs) involved in the ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation of WADA laboratories worldwide.

The ILAC-WADA Liaison Group meets at least once a year. In the period from October 2020 to October 2021, the ILAC-WADA Liaison Group held two (2) virtual meetings:

  • 29 October 2020: At this meeting, for the first time since the establishment of the Group in 2004, full participation was successfully achieved. Taking into account the benefits of the virtual meeting platform to relation to participation and the importance of sharing information relevant to the accreditation of the WADA anti-doping laboratories, the ILAC-WADA Liaison Group Members agreed to extend the membership of the Group to representatives from all ABs involved in the ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation of the WADA laboratories. As such, the AB membership of the ILAC-WADA Liaison Group has grown from fifteen (15) to twenty-six (26) AB representatives. 
  • 13 April 2021: Twenty-six (26) AB

The following topics were discussed during the April meeting:

  • New (2021) WADA ISL, Technical Documents( TDs) and Technical Letters (TLs);
  • Third ILAC-WADA Communique published on 1 April 2021;
  • Evaluation of laboratory method validations;
  • Possible solutions for accreditation of 16 Athlete Passport Management Units (APMUs) hosted by WADA-accredited laboratories;
  • MoU between ILAC and WADA;
  • Plans for the next ISL Assessors training.

The next meeting of the ILAC-WADA Liaison Group is scheduled for 21 October 2021.