ASEAN officials representing the conformity assessment and accreditation bodies in ASEAN held a second workshop on July 14, 2022 in an effort to finalise the Guidelines for Implementation of Harmonised Accreditation in ASEAN. Thirty -five (35) officials representing all 10 ASEAN member States participated in the Workshop. Discussions were based on the 3rd draft of the guidelines and where workshop participants reviewed changes proposed by Member States’ representatives to reach a consensus on the text of the guidelines.
These new guidelines contain a set of principles that Member States to guide ASEAN National Accreditation Bodies and recommend methods for enhancing cooperation with national regulatory bodies to in ensuring availability of competent and effective conformity services. The guidance provided supplement the existing ASEAN Guidelines for Accreditation and Conformity Assessments adopted in 2015.
ARISE Plus is assisting ASEAN Working Group on Accreditation & Conformity Assessment (WG 2) to develop these guidelines. It is intended that these guidelines provide the rationale and practical methods to strengthen cooperation & coordination between ASEAN National Accreditation Bodies and Focal Points. The adoption of the recommendations of the guidelines facilitate the harmonisation of practices and processes criteria and promote the development of 3rd party conformity assessment services in ASEAN. It is expected that the adoption of these guidelines will result in a strengthened role for ASEAN Member States’ accreditation bodies and increase coordination between the national accreditation bodies.
Substantial progress was made during the workshop to refine and agree on the content of the guidelines. The workshop participants proposed several changes to the draft text. The Workshop participants recommended that the guidelines should focus on implementation issues and on the role and responsibilities of the ASEAN Consultative Committee on Standards and Quality and on the role of WG 2. It was reaffirmed that WG 2 should be a central coordinating body for accreditation in ASEAN and its role is is critical in meeting the objectives of the guidelines.
The Workshop has recommended a final review of the content by Member States Officials with a view to finalise the guidelines by the end of the year.