WHAT IS THE PACIFIC ACCREDITATION COOPERATION?
The Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC) is an association of accreditation bodies and other interested parties whose objective is to facilitate trade and commerce among economies in the Asia Pacific region.
Its ultimate objective is the creation of a global system that grants international recognition of certification or registration of management systems, products, services, personnel and other programmes of conformity assessment.
The PAC promotes the international acceptance of accreditations granted by its accreditation body members, based on the equivalence of their accreditation programmes.
The PAC operates within the framework of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and in cooperation with other regional groups of accreditation bodies around the world.
IAF is an association of Conformity Assessment Accreditation Bodies and other bodies interested in conformity assessment which exists primarily to facilitate world trade by working to remove technical barriers that may flow from demands for certification and/or registration of management systems, products and like processes.
The primary means by which IAF will achieve this is by the establishment of Mutual Recognition Agreements (MLAs) which provide for world-wide recognition of certificates of conformity issued by certification / registration bodies accredited by members of IAF.
Accreditation is increasingly being used by regulators and the market as an impartial, independent and transparent means of assessing the competence of conformity assessment bodies. IAF provides the technical basis for the world-wide recognition of the competence of the bodies accredited by its members, realising the concept "tested or certified once - accepted everywhere."
WHAT DOES THE PAC DO?
To achieve its objectives, PAC:
- has established a multilateral mutual recognition group and monitors its activities, ensuring that MLA members maintain accreditation programs of world standard
- provides a means of achieving mutual acceptance of accreditation of management systems, products, services, personnel and similar programmes of conformity assessment in the Asia Pacific Region, and, through membership of the IAF mutual recognition group, a means of extending that acceptance to the rest of the world
- promotes acceptance of certificates of conformity through multilateral mutual recognition among accreditation bodies in the region, and, by membership in the IAF mutual recognition group, extends that acceptance world-wide
- encourages and supports the development of accreditation bodies in the region’s economies
- provides coverage for accreditation services in those economies where an accreditation body does not exist
- provides a forum for achieving consensus among members on relevant accreditation and certification or registration issues
- encourages support for, and participation in, conformity assessment activities of relevant international bodies
- encourages and facilitates the adoption and implementation of standards, guidelines and interpretative documents that have been developed by relevant international bodies
- develops recommendations for liaison with relevant international bodies
- works with and complements the activities of other APEC regional bodies on standards, laboratory accreditation and metrology
- facilitates collaboration, cooperation and mutual assistance among members, by means including seminars, meetings of experts and the sharing of information and experiences
- supports APEC in achieving its mutual recognition goals within the region.
PAC has programmes to:
- harmonise accreditation procedures and their implementation based on international standards and guides and IAF guidance on their application
- exchange information between accreditation bodies
- cooperate in the training of assessors and other personnel
- contribute to the work of ISO and other relevant bodies
- liaise with the IAF and the other regional groups of accreditation bodies and with other relevant bodies