RusAccreditation Public Council held final meeting for 2018

December 18, 2018

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On December 13, the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation in Moscow hosted a meeting of the Public Council at the Federal Service for Accreditation (RusAccreditation) where 2018 performance reports and 2019 performance plans of five standing committees and 19 working groups of the main consulting body of RusAccreditation were presented.

In his opening speech, Chairman of the RusAccreditation Public Council Vladimir Salamatov noted that the situation on the domestic conformity assessment market improved significantly since the previous meeting of the Council. Therefore, RusAccreditation should take greater effort in introducing real achievements in this area to media. The relevant working groups have been created and operating at the RusAccreditation Public Council in order to resolve specific issues in compulsory conformity assessment in certain areas. In 2018, all of them engaged actively in preparation of amendments to items in effect that are fundamental to the legal and regulatory framework of the Russian conformity assessment system.

Over the months of 2018, 25 meetings of the standing committees and working groups, as well as two meetings of the Public Council, were held. Usually, an agenda of such a meeting includes from three to six most relevant topics for the business community.

Vladimir Okrepilov, the Head of the Standing Committee on the Issues of Ensuring the Uniformity of Measurements, drew the attention of the Public Council members to the fact that measurement assurance was crucial to every stage of conformity assessment. The speaker noted the need to create a mechanism for monitoring and forecasting of the economy's and society's demand for measurements; to bring domestic terminology to that used in international documents; to provide production with personnel educated in metrology; to develop educational programs including the matters of metrological traceability; and to evaluate uncertainty and risks when shaping accreditation areas.

Olga Nikitina, the Chairman of the Committee on the Activities of Testing Laboratories, praised the experience of the relevant working groups of the RusAccreditation Public Council in finding solutions to subject-specific challenges. At the same time, the results of the activities of the standing committees are somewhat delayed and not immediately noticeable due to the globality of the tasks being solved and the need to consolidate members of the professional community to find the solutions.

According to Lyudmila Yurasova, the Chairman of the Standing Committee on the Activities of the Certification Bodies for Products, Works, Services and Staff, the Committee's main task in 2018 was to take part in development of a non-conformance classification for certification bodies that had been discovered during field audits. In 2019, the Committee is to develop amendments to conformity assessment models and their application. The Committee's attention is also demanded by the issues of completing documents accompanying samples imported for testing purposes, by certification bodies.

Lyudmila Fedorova presented a report of the Standing Committee on the Activities of the Management System Certification Bodies. She recommended that RusAccreditation approve additional accreditation criteria for management system certification bodies, taking into account the updated requirements of the national standards GOST R ISO 17021 and ISO/IEC 17021, as well as rules for establishing the scope of accreditation for a management system certification body and procedures for certification bodies to adopt new versions of standards that establish requirements for certification bodies. In addition, it is necessary to develop observational audit procedures, the results of which can be used to draw conclusions about the competence of experts of the management system certification body and to establish responsibilities and tasks of the participants in the process.

Nadezhda Volkova, the Chairman of the Standing Committee on the Activities of Inspection Bodies, reported that, over the past year, the first draft of the GOST R "Conformity Assessment. Recommendations on the Content of the Inspection Authority’s Quality Manual" was developed; proposals were prepared for amending the accreditation criteria of inspection bodies, taking into account the provisions of GOST R ISO/IEC 17020 and ILAC recommendations; activities were carried out on harmonization of the requirements for the formation of the scope of accreditation of inspection bodies with international documents; a trial testing of the Configurator of accreditation scope of inspection bodies was conducted.

The members of the Public Council noted that the ProFSA project environment, created by the Federal Service for Accreditation about a year ago, where members of the working groups, relevant specialists, representatives of the expert community and employees of RusAccreditation, including the management team, coordinate their positions and synchronize their understanding of the tasks, contributes to the consolidation of the professional community members. The community of external experts from different sectors of the economy involved in the discussion has more than doubled in the year, and has now exceeded one thousand people. In addition to fulfilling their specific tasks, the working groups contribute to finding of solutions to those that the standing committees face.

Monitoring of current conformity certificates by members of some working groups under the RusAccreditation Public Council allowed to identify documents issued without testing and to adjust the conformity assessment procedures. For instance, over 10 accreditations were terminated or suspended in 2018 upon inquiry of the working group on the activities of accredited persons in conformity assessment of aluminum products. Over 30 percent of conformity certificates for aluminum wheels were recalled. In two years, the ratio of certificates issued without testing has been reduced from 80 to 10 percent. The working group on conformity assessment of cable products reported that 62 certificated were terminated in 2018. The need to apply this tactics to equipment for explosive environments was emphasized at the meeting.

In 2018, the working group on the activities of accreditation experts prepared proposals for developing recommendations on establishing and implementing of a plan for the participation of testing laboratories (centers) in interlaboratory comparative trials. For 2019 the working group schedules to take part in development of a standard for accreditation experts activities, of recommendations on alignment of accreditation expert educational programs, as well as of a method to assess the activities of technical experts.

The working group on the activities of accredited persons in conformity assessment of wheeled vehicles focused on public review of the technical capabilities of testing laboratories; cooperated with Rosstandart to confirm the authenticity and legitimacy of issuing international Communications, which are the basis for issuing a conformity certificate of the Customs Union; cooperated with ECE bodies to develop common stands on certification and testing procedures with national authorities of the countries of the Customs Union. A register of unacceptable amendments to the design of a car was created, and recommendations on the use of the Temporary order of importation of used right-hand drive cars into the Russian Federation were developed, among other things.

In 2018, the working group on good laboratory practice (GLP) completed an analysis of the efficiency of set recommendations implementation by members of the field and prepared new guidelines, including those on GLP requirements for equipment. The working group's mission at the Public Council is to develop a common understanding of provisions of OECD regulations by RusAccreditation inspectors and employees of testing laboratories (centers).

According to Alexey Khersontsev, the Head of the Federal Service for Accreditation, the Public Council and its committees and working groups need to address practical problems in particular areas for the required regulatory base has already been established. At that, in 2019 RusAccreditation is to pay special attention to:

  • Activities of inspection bodies; organization of inspection control; requirements for inspection control of conformity certificates issued by an unfair certification body.
  • Activities of interlaboratory comparison studies providers (a cornerstone area of development).
  • Technical equipment of testing laboratories, including electrotechnical ones and those accredited to conduct testing of agricultural and forestry tractors and trailers.

The working groups have presented integrated recommendations, including those on:

  • Preparation of amendments to some regulations - for instance, TR TS 018/2011 "On Safety of Wheeled Vehicles" and TR TS 021/2011 "On Safety of Food Products" - and other conformity documents.
  • Improvement of control and supervision approaches.
  • Development of guidelines for establishing of accreditation scope for certification bodies and testing laboratories; amending of Accreditation Criteria.
  • Organization of activities of technical experts.
  • Introduction of a preliminary accreditation procedure to applicants failed to confirm experience, including that in inspection activities.

The Head of the Federal Service for Accreditation noted that 2019 is under the aegis of transition to a new version of the standard ISO/IEC 17025, which can already be used in a proper Russian translation prepared by specialists of RusAccreditation together with experts of the RusAccreditation Public Council.

The Declaration of Goals and Tasks of the Federal Service for Accreditation for 2019-2021 was adopted in the whole, with several amendments, at the meeting of the Public Council; the text will be available on the RusAccreditation website soon. Also, a decision was made to merge the working group on international integration of the national accreditation system and the working group on international recognition of the Russian accreditation in order to support national exporters on the global markets.