The IAF MLA Mark Use by Accreditation Bodies

“Certified Once, Accepted Everywhere”
Last Updated January 2013
The IAF vision
To develop a single, worldwide program of conformity
assessment, which reduces risk for business, regulators
and the general public by ensuring that accredited
certification may be relied upon.
What is the IAF
• The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) is a
global association of;
– Accreditation Bodies
– Regional Accreditation Cooperations
– Certification Body Associations
– Industry associations
– Other stakeholder organisations and scheme owners
involved in conformity assessment activities in a variety of
fields including management systems, products, services
and personnel
The objectives of IAF
• To maintain and develop a Multilateral Recognition Arrangement
(MLA) between its Accreditation Body Members to ensure
recognition of accredited certification between signatories.
• To act as a global forum to bring together accreditation bodies
and stakeholder groups to facilitate global trade.
• To develop appropriate harmonization of conformity assessment
best practice
• To promote accredited conformity assessment by working with,
and influencing, key international organisations and industry
• The IAF MLA is a network of accreditation body members of IAF
that have been deemed competent through a stringent peer
evaluation process.
• Signatories to the MLA will recognize as being equally reliable
the certificates and/or reports issued by certification/registration
bodies accredited by all other members of the MLA.
• The IAF MLA provides businesses with assurance that
equivalent overseas certification/registration bodies operate to
the same standard as those in their own country.
• There are two main scopes: Management Systems and Product
• There are two sub-scopes for Management Systems:
– ISO 9001 and ISO 14001
• Certificates issued by organizations accredited by IAF
signatories in the fields of management systems, products,
services, personnel and other similar programmes of conformity
assessment are therefore recognized and accepted throughout
the world.
• This acceptance removes technical barriers to international
trade as businesses will not require multiple certifications.
• This reduces time to market and well as additional cost to
• The key to the MLA is the increasing global network of
accredited conformity assessment bodies that are recognised as
being competent by IAF signatories.
Regional Cooperation Bodies
• The IAF MLA is structured to build on existing regional MLAs/MRAs
established around the world.
Cooperation (PAC)
Southern African
Regional Cooperation Bodies
• The IAF MLA recognises EA, PAC, IAAC
European Cooperation
Cooperation (PAC)
Coverage of the IAF MLA
IAF MLA Signatories
IAF Members not yet Signatories
Status of the IAF MLA
• There are 55 IAF MLA Signatories, representing 52 economies.
– Management Systems: 50 Accreditation Bodies and EA, PAC &
– ISO 9001 QMS: 50 Accreditation Bodies and EA, PAC & IAAC
– ISO 14001 EMS: 44 Accreditation Bodies and EA, PAC & IAAC
– ISO 22000 FSMS: in development
– ISO 27001 ISMS: in development
– Product: 45 Accreditation Bodies EA, PAC & IAAC
The international picture
• Since its formation in 1993, IAF membership has increased, as
has its influence with international organisations and trade
• This is due to the growing complexity of international trade and
the growth in number of third party conformity assessment
• As a result, an increasing number of national economies have
established accreditation bodies to maintain competence levels.
The international picture
• In 2011, at least 1,111,698 ISO 9001 certificates had been issued in
178 countries and economies.
• At the same time, at least 267,457 ISO 14001 certificates had been
issued in 155 countries and economies.
Worldwide number of ISO 9001
certificates 2006-2011
Worldwide number of ISO 14001
certificates 2006-2011
(Source: ISO 2011)
Types of IAF members
Membership of the IAF is separated into a number of categories:
Accreditation Body Membership
Open to Bodies conducting and administering programmes by which they accredit bodies
for certification of quality systems, products, services, personnel, environmental
management systems of similar programmes of conformity assessment.
Association Membership
Open to other organizations involved in the use or implementation of certification systems.
Special Recognition Organisations - Regional Accreditation Groups
Open to regional groupings of Accreditation Bodies whose aims include the maintenance of
Regional Multilateral Recognition Arrangements recognising the equivalence of their
members' accreditations.
Special Recognition Organisations - Observer Members
IAF has extended recognition to a number of organisations with which it has a liaison
relationship or which have been invited to be Observers
The IAF Structure
The IAF Structure
• The General Assembly represents the highest decision-making body.
• The Board of Directors is responsible for developing broad policy
directions for IAF and for ensuring that the work of IAF is carried out
in accordance with policies approved by members.
• The Executive Committee is responsible for the day-to-day work of
IAF on the basis of decisions made by Members and directions by
the Board of Directors.
• The operations of all IAF Committees and Subordinate Groups are
subject to the IAF General Procedures
The benefits of IAF
• The development of the MLA underpins cross border trade
through the acceptance of certifications. “Certified once,
accepted everywhere”.
• A support structure to lead the co-ordination of a consistent
approach and the harmonisation of best practice.
• The provision of a platform to exchange information and enable
knowledge transfer.
• Provision of technical assistance and development services to
support developing countries to establish conformity
assessment infrastructure.
• Support to developing and emerging economies.
• Links with ILAC, international standardization bodies and trade
The benefits of accredited
• For Government
– Facilitator of trade
– An efficient enforcement / monitoring tool
• For Business
– Greater acceptance of products and services opening up market access
– Avoid costs associated with multiple certifications
– Gain access to the growing number of tenders which specify accredited
• For Society
– Public confidence in goods and services, despite complex global
– Minimises product failures or recalls
Business drivers
The main driver for seeking certification is internal business improvement
(47%), customer requirement (32%), and to meet regulatory requirements
(Source: IAF survey 2011)
The value of certification
62% of respondents either agreed / strongly agreed that the certification
body provided value for money.
(Source: IAF survey 2011)
The value of certification
83% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that certification had
added value to their organisation.
(Source: IAF survey 2011)
The value of certification
17% of respondents stated that their certified status had led to a
significant increase in sales. 32% reported a minor increase.
(Source: IAF survey 2011)
The value of certification
79% of respondents confirmed that certification helped to meet the
requirements of regulators.
(Source: IAF survey 2011)
How to find an IAF MLA
• A ‘live’ and complete list of signatories can be found on the
IAF website at
• Scan the code to access the list
The IAF MLA Mark
Use by Accreditation Bodies
• ABs have to be a signatory to the IAF MLA before
they can use the IAF MLA Mark
• ABs have to have a license with the IAF before they
can use the IAF MLA Mark.
• ABs can only use the IAF MLA Mark in combination
with their own logo as a combined mark, as below.
The IAF MLA Mark
Use by Accreditation Bodies Cont.
• The combined mark can only be used in association
with the IAF MLA main scopes and/or sub scopes for
which the AB is a signatory to the IAF MLA.
• The combined mark may be used on accreditation
certificates, letterheads, quotations for work,
advertisements, or websites.
• The combined mark shall not be used on or in
conjunction with products.
The IAF MLA Mark
Use by Accredited CBs
• ABs that have a license to use the IAF MLA Mark can
sub-license the use of the IAF MLA mark to
accredited CBs
• CBs cannot use the IAF MLA Mark in isolation from
the accreditation symbol.
• CBs can only use the IAF MLA Mark in combination
with the Licensee’s accreditation symbol as a
combined mark, as shown below
The IAF MLA Mark
Use by accredited CABs Cont.
• The combined mark can only be used in association
with activities for which the CAB is accredited and are
within the ABs IAF MLA main scopes.
• The combined mark may only be used by CABs on
accredited certificates where the scope of the
certificate is includes an IAF MLA sub-scope.
• The combined mark may be used by CABs in
letterheads, quotations for work, advertisements, or
websites where the CAB is accredited for a main
scope or subscope.
The IAF MLA Mark
Use by accredited CBs Cont.
• The combined mark shall not be used on or in
conjunction with products.
• The CB shall not allow its customers to use the
combined mark.
• In their license agreement with an accredited CB the
AB may add any conditions that they deem
necessary to protect the IAF MLA Mark.
The IAF MLA Mark
• Businesses seeking certification will be able to see at
a glance if the certification body issuing the certificate
is accredited by an accreditation body that is a
signatory to the IAF MLA.
• As a result, businesses will benefit from having
increased confidence, signified by the presence of
the IAF MLA Mark, that requirements have actually
been met.

similar documents