Exchange of experiences on sampling and other topics

On selected topics of accreditation, a 2-day virtual workshop focusing on accreditation of CABs for sampling as standalone activity, accreditation of laboratories for opinions and interpretations and accreditation of CABs for statement of conformity, was held on 30 November and 1 December 2020.

Ursula Ellerbeck from DAkkS, Ioannis Sitaras and Georgios Kallergis from ESYD and Natalija Jovičić Zarić from ATS presented the experiences of their accreditation bodies and the workshop was moderated by Rózsa Ring. 46 participants from the 6 countries of the Western Balkan countries attended the virtual workshop, representing mainly the internal staff of the national accreditation bodies beside a few external assessors/experts.

The presentation and the discussion on accreditation of sampling as standalone activity showed that the national accreditation bodies have slightly different policies, there are several issues to be considered, e.g. responsibility for sampling, how to treat measurement uncertainty of sampling, assessment of sampling especially when sampling is made by an inspection body.

The presentations and the discussion on accreditation of laboratories for opinions and interpretations focused on the differences between expressing opinions and interpretations an declaration of statement of conformity, whether only accredited test results can give the basis for expressing opinions and interpretations, what specific competence the laboratory personnel needs and indication of opinions and interpretations in the scope of accreditation.

The presentations and the discussion on accreditation for statement of conformity showed that in many cases there are problems of understanding the decision rule by the client and by the accreditation body’s assessors, how and where to document/record the decision rule, and the consideration of measurement uncertainty in the statement of conformity. The issue of how decision rules should be defined in legislations was also mentioned and the importance of the relevant international guidelines (ILAC-G8 and ILAC-G17) was highlighted.

In all the 3 topics, case studies presented by the speakers supported the understanding of the specificities of accreditation in these areas.

The feedback of the participants was very positive, they found the virtual workshop useful to consider or reconsider their policies and practices of accreditation. The lively discussion confirmed the topicality of the workshop which resulted in the need of the beneficiary countries’ accreditation bodies to held 2 more trainings in the frame of the project, one on the decision rules and statement of conformity including the application of ILAC-G8 and other related guides, while the other on sampling activities related to measurement uncertainty and quality control of sampling and the specific aspects of the assessment of sampling.