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Introducction FAQ Members Advisory Board Structure principal
 
 

   
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Frequently
Asked
Questions
 
 
 
What is IAAC?
    What is IAAC for?
    What does IAAC do?
    Who’s involved in IAAC?
    How is IAAC structured?
    What is IAAC’s role in the conformity assessment infrastructure of the Americas?
    What is IAAC’s mission?
    Who are its members?
    What are the requirements for membership?
    How does an organization become a member?
    The IAAC operates in accordance with which standards and/or rules?
     
    What is accreditation?
    What is an accreditation body?
    What is conformity assessment?
    What is certification?
    What are inter-laboratory comparisons?
    What is proficiency testing?
     
    What are the ISO/IEC guides?
    Which ISO/IEC guides are relevant to the IAAC?
    What is the purpose of ISO/IEC guide 25?
    What is the purpose of ISO/IEC guide 58?
    What is the purpose of ISO/IEC guide 61?
    What is the purpose of ISO/IEC guide 62?
    What is the purpose of ISO/IEC guide 65?
    What is the purpose of ISO/IEC guides 43-1 and 43-2?
   
 
What is IAAC?
 
The InterAmerican Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC) is an association of accreditation bodies and other organizations interested in conformity assessment in the Americas.
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IAAC promotes cooperation among accreditation bodies and interested parties of the Americas, aiming at the development of conformity assessment structures to achieve the improvement of products, processes and services.


 
What is IAAC for?
 
IAAC’s main objectives are:


To promote regional and international acceptance of accreditations granted by its members.


To promote regional and international acceptance of conformity certificates, inspection reports, and testing and calibration results issued by conformity assessment bodies accredited by its members.
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To develop an efficient and reliable regional accreditation and conformity assessment infrastructure.


To establish a region-wide system of mutual recognition arrangements among accreditation bodies.


To facilitate trade among the economies of the Americas through an efficient system for conformity assessment.


To promote the equivalence of regional accreditation programs with international accreditation guidelines.
   
 
What does IAAC do?
 
IAAC works on the following activities:


Harmonization of accreditation programs among its members.


Promotion and coordination of cooperation among accreditation bodies and other organizations interested in conformity assessment in the Americas.


Administrating regional multilateral recognition arrangements on accreditation.


Development of regional accreditation programs.


Representation of the Americas in international accreditation and standardization fora.


Liaison with organizations involved in industrial development and in trade facilitation and liberalization.
   
 
Who’s involved in IAAC?
 

The main participants in IAAC are bodies that accredit certification/registration bodies, inspection bodies, testing laboratories, and calibration laboratories. Other IAAC participants are bodies related to conformity assessment.

IAAC has 20 Full members, 7 Associate Members and 10 Stakeholder Members from the following countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Monserrat, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay, United States of America, and Venezuela.

IAAC’s full members are bodies that accredit certification/registration bodies, inspection bodies, testing laboratories, and calibration laboratories.

IAAC’s associate members are developing accreditation bodies, standardization bodies, and other organizations involved in conformity assessment

IAAC Stakeholder Members are conformity assessment bodies.

 
 
How is IAAC structured?
  IAAC is made up of the following: General Assembly, Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Secretariat, Executive Committee, MLA Committee, MLA Group, Technical Committee, Management Committee, Laboratories Subcommittee, Inspection Bodies Subcommittee, Certification Bodies Subcommittee, Documentation Subcommittee, Promotions Subcommittee and Training Subcommittee.

For a IAAC organizational chart refer to: Structure.
 

 
What is IAAC’s role in the conformity assessment infrastructure of the Americas?
 


IAAC provides region-wide assessment and recognition of the competence of certification, registration and inspection bodies, and of testing and calibration laboratories.


IAAC provides the institutional basis for the establishment of regional mutual recognition agreements among accreditation bodies.


IAAC develops the technical and institutional capabilities required to create and operate a modern, reliable and efficient conformity assessment system in the Americas.

   
 
What is IAAC’s mission?
  IAAC’s mission is to promote cooperation among accreditation bodies and interested parties of the Americas, aiming at the development of conformity assessment structures to achieve the improvement of products, processes and services.
 
 
Who are its members?
 
IAAC’s members are bodies that accredit certification/registration bodies, inspection bodies, testing laboratories, and calibration laboratories, as well as other types of organizations involved in standards and conformity assessment. IAAC also has Stakeholder members that are conformity assessment bodies that wish to participate in the development of regional programs and guidelines that influence their activities. To date, IAAC has 20 full members, 7 associate members and 8 stakeholder members from 22 countries of the Americas.

> List of IAAC member bodies
   
 
What are the requirements for membership?
 
Accreditation bodies elegible for Full Membership are:


All accreditation bodies of third party conformity assessment bodies, legally established and operating in nations or blocs of nations of the American region that declare and demonstrate, according to the procedure for new membership applications, that they operate according to the requirements of ISO/IEC guides and standards and relevant international documents.
 
Accreditation bodies and organizations elegible for Associate Membership are:


Accreditation bodies established in the nations of the American Region that do not yet operate according to the requirements of ISO/IEC guides and standards and relevant international documents.


Nations or blocs of nations of the region of the Americas that do not have an established accreditation body.


Other international, regional and national organizations that are interested in conformity assessment and are not Stakeholder members.
 
 
How does an organization become a member?
 
The steps involved in applying for IAAC membership:


1) The applicant submits a IAAC Membership Application Form and supporting documentation to the IAAC Secretariat;


2) If complete, the Secretariat shall submit the application to the IAAC Executive Committee;


3) If approved by the Executive Committee, the Secretariat shall submit the application to the IAAC General Assembly;


4) The IAAC General Assembly votes on the membership application;


5) If accepted, the applicant signs the IAAC Memorandum of Understanding and submits payment of its annual membership fee.





Annual membership fees:

Full membership   Variable*
Associate membership
USD
$500
Stakeholder membership
USD
$250


* For further information refer to the Procedure for IAAC membership Fees

   

or please contact the Secretariat

> Membership Application Form

> Memorandum of Understanding

   
   
 
The IAAC operates in accordance with which standards and/or rules?
 
IAAC uses ISO/CASCO guides, IAF guidance on the application of ISO/IEC guides 61, 62 and 65, and ILAC documents.
   
 
What is accreditation?
 
A procedure by which an authoritative body gives formal recognition that a body or person is competent to carry out specific tasks.
   
 
What is an accreditation body?
 
Bodies that grant formal recognition to certification bodies, training bodies, inspection bodies and testing and calibration laboratories.
   
 
What is conformity assessment?
 
Any activity concerned with determining directly or indirectly that relevant requirements are fulfilled.

 
 
What is certification?
 
Certification is an activity which points out a certain level of reliability that should comply with a specific standard or other regulatory documents.
 
 
What are the ISO/IEC guides?
 
ISO/IEC guides are documents which define criteria procedures and principles for conformity assessment. They are elaborated in ISO/CASCO working groups.
 
Which ISO/IEC guides are relevant to the IAAC?
 

ISO/IEC guides 25, 39, 43, 58, 61, 62 and 65.
 
 
What is the purpose of ISO/IEC guide 25?
 
Its purpose is to specify general requirements for the capability of testing and calibration laboratories.
 
 
What is the purpose of ISO/IEC guide 58?
 
Its purpose is to specify general requirements for the operation of an accreditation body of calibration and/or testing laboratories, so that the granted accreditation as well as the services within such accreditation can be recognized as competent and reliable.
 
 
What is the purpose of ISO/IEC guide 61?
 

Its purpose is to specify general requirements for a body to follow if it is to be recognized at a national or international level as competent and reliable in assessing and subsequently accrediting certification bodies or registration bodies.
 
 
What is the purpose of ISO/IEC guide 62?
 
Its purpose is to specify general requirements for a third party body operating quality system certification/registration.
 
 
What is the purpose of ISO/IEC guide 65?
 

Its purpose is to specify general requirements to third party body that operates product certification.
 
 
What is the purpose of ISO/IEC guides 43-1 and 43-2?
 


Guide 43-1: Its purpose is to define principles and to describe the factors that should be taken into account in the organization and conduct of proficiency testing schemes.


Guide 43-2: Its purpose is to establish principles for the selection of proficiency testing schemes for use in laboratory accreditation programs and to assist in harmonizing the use of results of proficiency testing schemes by laboratory accreditation bodies.

 
 
What are inter-laboratory comparisons?
 
Inter-laboratory comparisons are processes that determine the performance of individual laboratories for specific tests or measurements. Inter-laboratory comparisons serve the following purposes:


to monitor laboratories’ continuing performance;


to identify problems in laboratories and initiate relevant remedial actions;


to provide additional confidence to laboratory clients;


to identify laboratory differences


to determine the performance characteristics of a method (often known as trials);


to assign values to reference materials and assess their suitability for use in specific test or measurement procedures.
 
 
What is proficiency testing?
 
Proficiency testing is the use of interlaboratory comparisons for the determination of laboratory testing or measurement performance. However, the operation of proficiency testing schemes may often also provide information for other purposes.