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IAF - International Accreditation forum

Condensed info, questions and remarks are welcome. 


IAF's primary function is:

Reduce  risk for business and its customers by assuring them that
accredited certificates may be relied upon
trough harmonization of accreditation practices.

After all, accreditation is the last level of conformity assessment and has to be a non-profit activity.

Harmonization is done by IAF members trough:
  • organizing peer audits against ISO 17011.
  • supplementing the generic ISO standard ISO 17011 with mandatory documents and guidelines and its implementation e.g.:
    • MD5: Determining the amount of audit  time.
    • MD2: Transfer of certification between certification bodies
    • MD10: Assessment of Certification Body - Management of Competence
    • MD12: Accreditation Assessment of Conformity Assessment Bodies with Activities in Multiple Countries
    • MD17: Witnessing Activities for the Accreditation of Management Systems Certification Bodies
Certified Once Accepted Everywhere


IAF is the world association of  Accreditation Bodies.

Based upon there governmental or sectorial status IAF recognizes Accreditation Bodies and Regional Accreditation Groups. An Accreditation Body can be a member of IAF and/or a Regional Group& or both.
AB structure

Association of certification bodies and industries assists IAF to ensure their needs and expectations are fulfilled. They  provide advice to improve the value and effectiveness of accreditation. (example).

Work flow

The recognition starts with a MoU status (Memorandum of Understanding). A MoU is a cooperation agreement with issues and a promise to strive toward a MLA status

The MoU recognized accreditation body can apply for the MLA status for one or more areas and sub-areas:

  • Management systems (ISO 17021)
    Sub areas
    • ISO 9001
    • ISO 14001
    • areas outside the scope of this website : ISO 22000 Food safety, - ISO 27000 Information security, etc.
Main areas outside the scope of this website
  • Product certification ISO 17065
  • Personnel certification  ISO 17024
  • Laboratories ISO 17011 see ILAC

Accreditation bodies, that  have been positive evaluated by 'tree' MLA peers as competent, are invited to sign an MLA arrangements. This results in  the slogan "Certified Once - Accepted Everywhere” that enhance the acceptance of products and services across national borders.

Invited? Accreditation bodies are governmental institutions. It’s the government that decides to accept MLA and recognizing each other’s certificates.

Accreditation bodies are re-evaluated by their peers every four years.(examples:  EA  - ARAC). Regional Accreditation Groups are evaluated similar to  the evaluation of a single accreditation body.


Revenue: (2006)
  • 300 000 USD
    Most services are provided by the employees of affiliated organizations at no charge.
  • Full member (±80%)
  • Associate  members ((±20%)
Roger De Vos
QMS Consultant

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Tel: +32 56 201 996
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