By: Tony Vandenberg, General Manager, Compliance & Governance
APAC is a regional cooperation of accreditation bodies and other organisations that have an interest in accredited conformity assessment. The primary role of APAC is to manage and expand a mutual recognition arrangement (MRA) among accreditation bodies in the Asia Pacific region.
As a signatory to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) MRA, which underpins our status in Australia, NATA is required to be evaluated periodically by APAC and was most recently evaluated in March 2023.
APAC – as a group – meets annually and has just met in Los Angeles from 24 to 30 June. This was the first face-to-face meeting since Singapore in 2019 and was a great opportunity to reunite with familiar faces and to meet new ones.
NATA sent a contingent that included senior sector and operations staff ensuring that we were represented at every meeting over seven days. Neil Shepherd, Sector Manager, Life Sciences and Paul McMullen, Sector Manager, Calibration, presented to meetings during the week.
Importantly, NATA CEO Jennifer Evans, as current Chair of APAC, addressed the APAC Group on numerous sessions and chaired the General Assembly.
As APAC’s main purpose is the evaluation and recognition of accreditation bodies in the Asia Pacific region, numerous NATA staff are active contributors to the evaluation process as Lead Evaluators, Evaluators, reviewers and committee members. NATA staff volunteer their time to support capacity building in the region, contributing as trainers and facilitators.
Overall, APAC delegates acknowledged the size and diversity of its membership and the importance of contributing to and influencing positively the work of ILAC and IAF (International Accreditation Forum), particularly as these organisations move towards a merger.