A2LA Has Been Accepted as a Signatory to the International Accreditation Forum’s (IAF) Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) for Product Certification

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The American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) has been accepted as a Member of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) for the Main Scope: ISO/IEC Guide 65, Sub-scope: Product Certification.

A2LA is proud to add the IAF recognition to its list of worldwide recognitions obtained. A2LA staff was committed to achieving this MLA signatory status to better serve our customers, regulators/specifiers and the public as a whole.

The American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) has been accepted as a Member of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) for the Main Scope: ISO/IEC Guide 65, Sub-scope: Product Certification.

“A2LA is proud to add the IAF recognition to its list of worldwide recognitions obtained. A2LA staff was committed to achieving this MLA signatory status to better serve our customers, regulators/specifiers and the public as a whole” said Peter Unger, President/CEO of A2LA.

In March of 2010, A2LA was peer evaluated by the regional group, the Inter-American Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC), to expand its scope of recognition to include accreditation of product certification bodies. In August of 2010, IAAC announced that A2LA had become a signatory to the IAAC MLA for Product Certification Bodies. Recently, IAAC was accepted by the IAF as a regional group for the IAF MLA to include product certification, which resulted in A2LA achieving the IAF MLA signatory status.

The MLA contributes to the freedom of world trade by eliminating technical barriers to trade. IAF works to find the most effective way of achieving a single system that will allow companies with an accredited conformity assessment certificate in one part of the world, to have that certificate recognized elsewhere in the world. The objective of the MLA is to cover all accreditation bodies in all countries in the world, thus eliminating the need for suppliers of products or services to be certified in each country where they sell their products or services. “Certified once - accepted everywhere”.

The requirements for a product certification body assessment are stated in ISO/IEC Guide 65:1996 General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems and the IAF GD-5 Guidance on the Application of ISO/IEC Guide 65:1996 and A2LA specific program requirements.

These accreditations assure users of the competence and impartiality of the body accredited. A2LA accredits product certification bodies that issue certificates attesting that an organization's quality management system and competence to certify products comply with a specified standard (called conformity assessment). A2LA welcomes applications for the accreditation of most types of product certification activities. All requests for information on the Product Certification Body Accreditation Program should be directed to the contact listed above.

A2LA is a nonprofit, non-governmental, public service, membership society based in Frederick, Maryland, United States of America. Its mission is to provide comprehensive, third-party accreditation services for testing and calibration laboratories, inspection bodies, proficiency testing providers, reference material producers, and product certification bodies. Services are available to applicants whether they are private, federal, state, or academic and regardless of their size. A2LA is internationally recognized and is the largest, multi-discipline accreditation body in the United States. A2LA welcomes applications for the accreditation of many types of conformity assessment bodies.

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Rob Miller
A2LA
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