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The IAAC Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) is a an agreement among accreditation bodies by which they recognize the accreditations issued by each other. Such system of mutual recognition of accreditations is based on the proper operation of the accreditation systems of the bodies that join the arrangement. In order to establish and maintain an MLA, a program to establish and maintain mutual confidence among the bodies that are signatories to the IAAC MLA is required. The principal elements of that program are:

  • Participation in programs of peer evaluation and re-evaluation;
  • Exchange of information on the development and operation of accreditation systems;
  • Participation of personnel from IAAC MLA members in assessment, re-assessment or surveillance visits to conformity assessment bodies performed by other IAAC MLA member bodies; and
  • Participation in IAAC meetings.

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The IAAC MLA Group is the organizational unit formed by accreditation bodies that are signatories of the IAAC MLA.

By reducing the need for multiple assessments, IAAC’s MLAs facilitate international trade by encouraging regional and worldwide acceptance of valid certificates, registrations and results issued by signatory accreditation bodies.

Participation in the IAAC MLA can raise the status of, and increase confidence in, signatory accreditation bodies nationally and internationally by means of the formal links with competent accreditation bodies in other countries.

The conditions for joining IAAC’s MLAs are:

  • Full membership in IAAC;
  • Agreement to abide by the terms and conditions of the IAAC MLA;
  • Demonstration, through evaluations and through witnessing of its assessment process, that it satisfies the following requirements:

a) conformance with pertinent ISO/IEC guides and related IAF or ILAC guidance documents;

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b) conformance of all accredited bodies with the relevant ISO/IEC guides

c) completion of at least one accreditation process in each of the accreditation programs for which it applies.

d) availability of sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the applicant body’s arrangements for management review and internal audit have been implemented, are effective, and will be maintained.