The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) hosted its annual General Assembly Meetings in Frankfurt Oct. 21–30, 2019, in partnership with the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC). A record 500 delegates contributed to advancing the technical and operational work of the organization, as well as approving some significant decisions.
The most notable decision involved both IAF and ILAC members overwhelmingly voting in favor of creating a single global accreditation organization. Members were supportive of this move as it is hoped that it will deliver increased efficiency through the removal of duplicate activities, potential cost savings through shared services, and simplify and better harmonize organizational processes. It is also hoped that a single global organization will improve the profile of global accreditation as it will allow both organizations to speak with one voice, as well as provide an opportunity to broaden stakeholder engagement and market feedback.
The process will be managed by a steering committee consisting of the IAF and ILAC vice chairs, representatives from the six regions, and four stakeholders. Work is underway to define the terms of reference, to agree on criteria for any external expert(s), and to identify the main issues for the new organization. Members will be consulted at all stages of the process, which is expected to take between three and five years.