The IAF MLA Mark

“Certified Once, Accredited Everywhere”
Last Updated January 2012
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
– 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:
– Quality Management Systems (QMS) and Environmental Management
Systems (EMS)
• 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 and developing
regional MLAs/MRAs established around the world.
European Cooperation
Cooperation (PAC)
• The IAF MLA recognises EA, PAC, IAAC
Southern African
Coverage of the IAF MLA
IAF MLA Signatories
IAF Members not yet Signatories
Last Updated January 2012
Status of the IAF MLA
• There are 54 IAF MLA Signatories, representing 51 economies.
• Main Scope
– ISO/IEC 17021: 50 Accreditation Bodies and EA, PAC & IAAC
– ISO/IEC Guide 65: 44 Accreditation Bodies and EA, PAC & IAAC
• Sub-scope
• ISO 9001: 50 Accreditation Bodies and EA, PAC & IAAC
• ISO 14001: 43 Accreditation Bodies and EA, PAC & IAAC
• Product: Nil
– In Development
• ISO 22000
ISO 13485
• Certification of Persons
ISO/IEC 20000
Last Updated January 2012
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
• By December 2010, at least 1,109 905 ISO 9001 certificates had
been issued in 178 countries and economies.
• At the same time, at least at least 250 972 ISO 14001:2004
certificates had been issued in 155 countries and economies.
Worldwide number of ISO 9001
certificates 2006-2010
Worldwide number of ISO 14001
certificates 2006-2010
(Source: ISO 2010)
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/registration 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/registration systems.
Special Recognition Organisations - Regional Accreditation Groups
Open to regional groupings of Accreditation Bodies whose aims include the maintenance of
Regional Multilateral Recognition Agreements recognising the equivalence of their
members' accreditations.
Partner Members and 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, consisting of IAF Members, represent 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:
For business:
For Society:
•Flexible alternative to
•Greater acceptance of
products and services
opening up market
•Public confidence in
goods and services,
despite complex global
•Avoid costs associated
with multiple certifications
•Minimises product
failures or recalls
•Facilitator of trade
•An efficient enforcement
/ monitoring tool
•Gain access to the
growing number of
tenders which specify
accredited certification
Business drivers
The main driver for seeking certification is internal business improvement
(47%), customer requirement (32%), and to meet regulatory requirements
(Source: IAF internal survey 2011)
The value of certification
62% of respondents either agreed /
strongly agreed that the certification
body provided value for money.
83% of respondents agreed or
strongly agreed that certification had
added value to their organisation.
(Source: IAF internal 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.
79% of respondents confirmed that
certification helped to meet the
requirements of regulators.
(Source: IAF internal 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
• The IAF MLA mark can be used by accreditation
bodies that are signatories to the MLA.
• MLA signatories can license the MLA mark to use in
conjunction with their own accreditation body symbol
as shown below
Body Symbol
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. The
certification body must include an indication as to which activity
the accreditation is related.
Body Symbol
• 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.
Contact IAF
IAF Secretariat, Elva Nilsen
28 Chemin Old Chelsea
Box 1811, Chelsea, Quebec
J9B 1A0
+1 (613) 454-8159