ACLASS and FQS Sign International Cooperation Agreement for Inspection

Keith Greenaway (center), signed the APLAC MRA for inspection on behalf of ACLASS and FQS

The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board d/b/a ACLASS and FQS has signed the Asia-Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) mutual recognition arrangement (MRA) for inspection. The signing ceremony took place in conjunction with the 18th APLAC General Assembly and Technical Meetings held in Sydney, Australia. By signing the APLAC MRA for inspection, ACLASS and FQS also become signatories of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation MRA.

A regional cooperation of bodies that recognize laboratories, inspection bodies, and reference material producers, APLAC promotes international acceptance of endorsed test, calibration, and inspection reports and other documents issued by laboratories and inspection bodies accredited by signatories to the APLAC MRA.

In addition to being approved to sign the MRA for inspection, ACLASS and FQS are MRA signatories for calibration and testing, and ACLASS is an MRA signatory for reference material producers.

"Becoming an APLAC MRA signatory for inspection indicates ACLASS and FQS have demonstrated compliance with ISO/IEC 17011, and the facilities ACLASS and FQS have accredited are in compliance with ISO/IEC 17020," Keith Greenaway, ACLASS and FQS Vice President, said. "By harmonizing accreditation practices around the world, the APLAC MRA forms a regional network of accredited laboratories and inspection bodies to facilitate the acceptance of test, calibration, and inspection reports, which in turn facilitates global trade."

Approval to sign the APLAC MRAs is granted only after a rigorous peer evaluation, during which the evaluators conduct an in-depth examination of organizational processes and documentation. Peer evaluators also witness the accreditation body's personnel as they conduct assessments of facilities seeking accreditation to confirm that they operate according to the requirements of international standards. Peer evaluations are conducted every four years after MRA signatory status is attained.