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25 TH ANNIVERSARY

IQNet contribution to International Standardization initiatives

One of IQNet’ s key roles on behalf of its partners and as a major contributor to the body of knowledge relating to Certification is to monitor and input to on-going development and revision of standards. In recent years, IQNet investment in this activity has been considerably reinforced, for several different reasons, including impulsion from the IQNet Board, inclusion of outreach in the IQNet Strategic Plan, feedback from the partners’ CEOs and the international standardization context.
So in the last 5 years, IQNet has moved from informal participation and passive monitoring of changes in standards to active participation and influencing developments.
As IQNet membership is still heavily focused on Management System Certification, it is only logical to begin with the Rules for MS Certification bodies (ISO/IEC 17021-1). When ISO CASCO began the development of ISO/IEC 17021, way back in 2003/2004, a number of partners were personally participating as national Standards Bodies delegates. So, as a strategic initiative, IQNet Board of Directors took the decision to take a number of practical steps, including
  1. formally requesting liaison status with ISO CASCO;
  2. nominating liaison delegates formally on behalf of IQNet;
  3. setting up a corresponding task group within IQNet Standing Committees to monitor, collect input, define a common IQNet position where possible and promote and defend this position;
  4. informing and sharing feedback and providing training for all IQNet partners on on-going matters relating to relevant international standardization.
Given the success of this approach, the Board of Directors now have extended this approach to have formal liaisons with a wide number of standards bodies and certification related bodies. In addition to the successive versions of ISO/IEC 17021-1 (in 2011 and in 2015), the standards concerned cover the revisions of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, the future ISO 45001 and ISO/IEC 17011. Equally, IQNet delegates participate in various committees within the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), European Co-operation for Accreditation (EA), ISO’s Conformity Assessment Committee (ISO CASCO) where standardization strategy makers and users gather. Other vectors of sharing information about areas of concern are the meeting of specialized IQNet Partner Panels, such as the Food PP which monitors standards and certification in the Food Sector.
It should be emphasized that, as all these initiatives are part of our IQNet Strategy, and as such they are financially supported by Board of Directors and technically supported by the IQNet Head Office staff under the direction of IQNet’s Managing Director, Pedro Alves and the IQNet Technical Manager, Tatiana Chirosca.
As can been seen from all the above initiatives, IQNet is in the process of becoming a clear and an authoritative voice in the World of Management System Standards. To continue and extend this constructive approach and to make our voice stronger, IQNet needs more volunteers from our Partners.

Alister Dalrymple

AFNOR Delegate to IQNet
Vice-President of IQNet

AFNOR – Certification – Association Française pour l’assurance de la Qualité
11, Rue Francis de Pressense
93571 La Plaine Saint Denis
France
www.afnor.org