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News from ARAC

ARAC MLA Signatories
Following the latest ARAC MLA Group decision, ARAC has 5 MLA Signatories as follows:

New ARAC member: Syrian Arab Organization for Standardization & Metrology (SASMO)

Significant growth in the Arab Accreditation Cooperation (ARAC) membership has been achieved with the acceptance of the Syrian Arab Organization For Standardization & Metrology (SASMO) as an ARAC Associate Member in December 2023. This new membership was approved following a 30-day ballot and review period by the ARAC Executive Committee and ARAC General Assembly members. SASMO has the mission to develop the national infrastructure in the fields of standardization, metrology, conformity assessment and accreditation.

ARAC now has 23 members covering 21 Arab countries (Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen).

Capacity and refresher ARAC Peer Evaluators training course, 8 – 9 December 2023

This workshop aimed to review changes in the EA and ILAC/IAF requirements, share experience amongst evaluators in order to maintain best practices and introduce improvements in the procedures. The training, based on both presentations and group work, covered mainly the following points:

    • IAF/ILAC FAQs on ISO/IEC 17011:2017 interpretation (Team Member perspective)
    • Critical steps in the ARAC MLA process
    • Preparation for the peer evaluation
      • Selection of CABs for witnessing
      • Document review
      • Selection of files for review
      • Planning the week for office evaluation (file review, interview with NAB Staff)
      • Office evaluation
    • Reporting
      • What is expected by ARAC MLAG
      • Applicable ILAC&IAF and ARAC peer evaluations documentation and forms
      • The use of ARAC forms and reports used in the peer evaluation process and the ARAC IT Peer evaluators & peer evaluation management system
      • Learned lessons from the previous ILAC&IAF Peer Evaluation of ARAC
      • Examples on the implementation of ISO/IEC 17011:2017 requirements
      • IAF/ILAC FAQs on ISO/IEC 17011:2017 interpretation (Team Member perspective)
      • Identification of findings from case studies
      • Grading of findings
      • Use of ARAC Checklist
      • Use of self-assessment report


The opportunity was given to all participants to participate in the case studies & group exercises provided during the days of the workshop and followed by group discussions and presentation form representative.

Transition regional workshops: PTP (27 – 29 February 2024) and FSMS CBs (20-21 March 2024)
Further to the publication of the new versions of ISO/IEC 17043:2023 Conformity assessment General requirements for the competence of proficiency testing providers and ISO 22003-1 Food safety, Part 1: Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of food safety management systems competence and further to IAF MD 27 and the resolution endorsed by ILAC GA that allow a 3-year implementation period from the date of publication of these revised standards, ARAC organized these workshops to help the Accreditation Bodies and the ARAC Peer evaluators to make successful their transition to the new versions of these standards.
These workshops focused on the key updates and critical changes, outlining the transition considerations that shall be taken by the ABs, PTP and FSMS CBs. The ISO/IEC 17043:2023 workshop covers as well the statistical methods for use in proficiency testing by interlaboratory comparison according to the standard ISO 13528:2022.

Activities to Promote the IAF MLA and ILAC MRA: ARAC Stakeholders Community Workshop in Saudi Arabia
The awareness stakeholder workshop was conducted on 11th December 2023 with the participation more than 70 participants from the ARAC stakeholder community representing the conformity assessment bodies, regulatory authorities, industry & trade associations and consumer associations in KSA.
During this workshop, the participants stressed the role that ARAC plays in the development of the accreditation and conformity assessment infrastructure in KSA. This workshop aimed to give stakeholders in KSA a better understanding of the value of accreditation and accredited services, and in particular, regulators recognize and accept accredited conformity assessment results covered under the IAF MLA, ILAC MRA and ARAC MLA.

Election of new ARAC EC members

During the 11th ARAC General Assembly meeting that was held in December 2023, Riyadh, KSA, the election of new ARAC Chair, Vice Chair, Committees Chairs and the Executive Committee members positions was made and the results of the elections were the following:

  • Mr Adel Alkeaid from Saudi Accreditation Center [SAAC], KSA, elected as ARAC Chair
  • Mrs Lana Marashdeh from the Jordanian Accreditation System, Accreditation Unit [JAS-AU], Jordan, elected as ARAC Vice Chair
  • Mr Brahim Houla from GCC Accreditation Centre [GAC], GCC Countries, elected as ARAC MLA Committee and MLA Group Chair
  • Mr Qasim Al-Shamsi from Emirates International Accreditation Centre [EIAC], UAE, elected as Capacity Building Committee Chair
  • Mr Ali Almarzouq from Saudi Accreditation Center [SAAC], KSA, elected as Communication and Marketing Committee Chair
  • Mrs Maryam Alsallaqi from Emirates National Accreditation System [ENAS], UAE, elected as ARAC Associate members representative

Congratulations to them and our best wishes for a successful mandates!