The Governments of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) approved the establishment of the Gulf Accreditation Centre, in order to provide reliable services to destinations conformity assessment of laboratories and points of inspection and certification bodies in all Member States, including supporting the GCC joint action and to facilitate trade and to support the industry and the national economy in the Member States and support the implementation of the legislative system Gulf to adjust the products in the Gulf market and the application of procedures and rules of conformity in the Member States the center.
The establishment of the Gulf Accreditation Centre had been founded after the study made by the Organization of JAS-ANZ which was provided by the Australian NATA during the period from 2005 to 2010. The Gulf Accreditation Centre was able to set the documents, procedures and provide training for the experts, in addition to supporting the committees and task forces at the Gulf area to work and follow up with different projects and to review the three phases of the outputs of the technical consultations.
The center has been able to obtain international recognition of international and regional organizations in June 2016, a major achievement aims to enhance quality infrastructure of the governments of the Gulf Cooperation Council Member States and the Republic of Yemen and to cover the needs of the Member States to develop all documents and work procedures; and to qualify technical assessors, quality assessors, and conformity team leaders.
- GAC has the right to decline, withdraw, suspend or even reduce scope of its accredited CAB which doesn’t comply with the requirements of the accreditation criteria including applicable laws/regulation, or when it is found have falsified information or documents and when there’s clear evidence of its fraudulent behavior.
- To not to accept the application from CAB that doesn’t provide required information & documents, and doesn’t cooperate to a level necessary to meet the timelines, or when found to be scam or fraudulent.
- To change type of assessment, frequency of assessment and conduct unannounced assessment as result of previous assessment outcome, due to complaint or appeals or sourced information which impacts the image of GAC or affects integrity and competence of the CAB.
- To assess the management system of the CAB and require any document and access to location and facilities in relation to the scope of accreditation during the accreditation period of the CAB.
- To timely plan and conduct due assessments for the CABs to determine its competence,
- To ensure impartiality of its services,
- To ensure confidentiality of CAB’s information and their documents unless required by the law/regulation to disclose it in a way required.
- To inform its accredited CABs about the changes in the accreditation requirements and timelines as applicable, to ensure the implementation of changes it could be covered through next due assessment or by asking CABs to provide some immediate evidences of implementation.
- To provide information about suitable ways to obtain tractability of measurement results in relation to the scope for which accreditation is provided. This is detailed in the Technical Note TN 2.0.
- GAC will make publicly available information about the current status of the accreditations that it has granted to CABs, this information is updated regularly and in line with ISO/IEC 17011 requirements.
- To claim accreditation with respect to the scope for which accreditation has been granted
- To complaint against an unsatisfactory service
- To appeal against the accreditation decision
- To object on nomination of assessor/expert based on valid reason and in accordance with GAC’s AC5.0 procedure.
- To continually fulfil the requirements for accreditation and to commit to provide evidence of fulfilment, these requirements for accreditation includes but not limited to e.g. compliance with accreditation criteria (scheme), requirements of GAC such as applicable technical notes, FADs and requirements of international bodies such as ILAC, IAF, IHAF.
- Cooperate as is necessary to enable GAC have access to verify compliance and fulfilment of requirements for accreditation and arrange for witnessing of activities.
- To provide all the documents as necessary and specified by GAC so it can perform document review in relation to any type of assessment to be conducted
- Inform GAC within one week and in writing of changes or pending changes in any aspect of the organization’s status or operation that affects the organization itself and its scope of accreditation.
For more details on obligation of the CABs, please refer to the accreditation agreement given within the AC 2.1 application for accreditation.
The Budget of the Centre
The Centre shall have an independent budget financed from the following resources:
- The returns and fees charged by the Centre in return for the services provided.
- Financial Funds allocated to it by Member States.
- Grants and donations which do not conflict with the Centre indpendency or impartiality and to be approved by the Board of Directors.
- Other resources as determined by the Board of Directors.
GAC Recognition at the internatinal level
At the global level, International recognition is provided by the, the International Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation (ILAC) and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), and The International Halal Accreditation Forum (IHAF). The decisions of these organisations determine the nature of the accreditation that GAC and its equivalent bodies in other countries offer. It is therefore essential that there is a strong voice of the GCC countries in each of these organisations. GAC is by the GCC Government to participate in the operations ILAC and IAF. GAC is also active at the regional level and is member of both the Arab Accreditation Cooperation (ARAC) and the Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (APAC).
These organisations have established international arrangements based on the mutual recognition of certificates and reports issued by conformity assessment bodies (CAB) which facilitate trade and create a platform on which “accredited once, accepted everywhere” is realised.
GAC is a signatory to the ARAC MLA and APAC MRA and IHAF recognition agreements, which are recognized at the international level by ILAC and IAF . This means that a test report or certificate accredited by GAC is also recognized by the signatories to the ILAC MRA and IAF MLA. In this way, the GAC accreditation acts as an international passport to trade.
GAC is a signatory to the following scopes: Testing laboratories, Calibration Laboratories, and Inspection Bodies, Medical Laboratories Product Certification bodies, Halal Certification.
Please check GAC recognition status on ILAC website: https://ilac.org/signatory-detail/?id=103
Please check GAC recognition status on IAF website: https://iaf.nu/en/member-details/?member_id=46