I. ARAC MLA Signatories
Following the latest ARAC MLA Group decision ARAC has 5 MLA signatories:
II. New ARAC member: Djibouti’s Agency for Standards and Quality Promotion
Significant growth in the Arab Accreditation Cooperation (ARAC) membership has been achieved with the acceptance of Djibouti’s Agency for Standards and Quality Promotion (ADNQ) as an ARAC Associate Member. This new membership was approved following a 30-day ballot and review period by the ARAC Executive Committee and ARAC General Assembly members.
ADNQ has the mission, in collaboration with all the ministerial departments and the private organizations concerned, to contribute to the implementation of the policy of the Djiboutian government in the field of accreditation, standardization, metrology, certification and promotion of the quality of products and services.
ARAC now has 22 members covering 20 Arab countries (Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen).
III. Arab Accreditation Week 2023:
In its fourth edition and on the occasion of World Accreditation Day 2023, ARAC organized the Arab Accreditation Week [AAW] during the period 05-09 June 2023 under the theme “Together towards enhancing the role of accreditation in the Arab region in supporting the Future of Global Trade”.
Several online capacity-building activities were held during the AAW 2023 to strengthen the ARAC AB members and conformity assessment bodies’ competencies and to harmonise the implementation of the IAF, ILAC and new accreditation standards requirements.
1. Regional workshop on ILAC Policies
More than 300 participants from the ARAC ABs and their accredited CABs participated in this regional workshop. The main purpose of this workshop is to harmonize the accreditation practices among ARAC members and support the enhancement of members’ capacities in operating existing accreditation schemes of common interest to ARAC members.
2. Regional Training session on Measurement Uncertainty software
With the participation of testing & calibration laboratories in the Arab region, this training session was conducted on software that evaluates the measurement uncertainty by the propagation of variances and/or propagation of distributions using Monte Carlo simulations, according to the methods described in the Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement (GUM) and its Supplement 1 (GUM S1), respectively.
3. Regional Workshop on IAF Mandatory Documents
The event will be conducted in the context of implementing the ARAC capacity-building program. The main purpose of this workshop is to ensure that Accreditation Bodies and their accredited certification or validation/verification bodies in the Arab Region operate their programs in a consistent and equivalent manner. This workshop will provide a complete overview of the IAF Mandatory Document and will give general key insights and tools to comply with the requirements of these MDs.
4. Medical laboratories: ISO 15189:2022 transition regional workshop
Further to the publication of the new version of ISO 15189:2022 Medical Laboratories – Requirements for quality and competence and following the resolution endorsed by the ILAC General Assembly that allows a 3-year implementation period from the date of publication of this revised standard, this regional training session will support the Accreditation Bodies and Medical Laboratories in the Arab region in successfully transitioning to the new version of the standard relating to the competence and quality of Medical Laboratories.
This workshop focused on the key updates and critical changes for medical laboratory services, outlining the transition considerations of ISO 15189:2022 from ISO 15189:2012, including, but not limited to the focus on clinical utility, obligations to the patient and risk management.
IV. Establishment of PTP Network Information System in the Arab region
Following the recommendation taken during the ARAC stakeholders community workshop held in December 2022, Cairo, Egypt, the Arab Proficiency Testing Providers Network Information System was established at the end of September 2023. This PTP Network IS will support the CABs in the Arab region in finding a suitable Proficiency Testing scheme provided by the PTPs in the Arab region.
This PTP Network Information System is open to any of the PT providers that are operating in the Arab region who wish to include their programs in the database.
V. ARAC upcoming events:
5th – 7th December 2023: Newcomer ARAC Peer Evaluators training course, Riyadh, KSA
8th – 9th December 2023: Capacity and refresher ARAC Peer Evaluators training course, Riyadh, KSA
10th – 14th December 2023: 11th ARAC Annual Meetings, Riyadh, KSA