Technical Committees

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NATA appoints technical committees, known as Accreditation Advisory Committees (AACs) for activities for which accreditation is offered.  Such committees primarily provide advice on technical matters and administrative support for specific areas of interest as defined by NATA.

Each AAC consists of a group of experts appointed by the Board. NATA seeks nominations for vacancies on existing or new committees following the release of an expression of interest, which allows any individual with an interest to be nominated who satisfies the appointment criteria.

The size and membership of an AAC is dependent on the needs of the area of accreditation at the time. Members of an AAC may be appointed for terms of 3 to 5 years with the option to extend this after the initial term. They may also be appointed for the duration of a defined project. The membership of an AAC is rotated on a regular basis to ensure a wide range of expertise and knowledge is available to NATA (and therefore our accredited facilities) and to try and minimise the workload of members who serve in an honorary capacity.

Additional technical input to support the AAC may be achieved by consultation with experts and professional societies outside of the AAC on an 'as needs' basis. Working groups can also be formed to address very specific technical issues that require resolution or development of specific accreditation criteria.

Meetings

AAC meetings are held at 12-24 months intervals. Meeting agendas are designed to address the issues outlined below, as well as covering other relevant matters at the time.

Role of the AAC

The role of the AAC can be defined under 2 broad areas.

Technical

The primary role of the AAC is to provide technical guidance for the associated area/activity of accreditation. In particular, AACs may be asked to:

  • provide guidance on interpretation of the technical requirements included in the standard used for accreditation in the associated area of accreditation;
  • develop and review technical criteria specific to the work carried out by accredited organisations in the particular area of accreditation;
  • review technical criteria developed by NATA;
  • support assessors and assist in their technical training, e.g. through assessor forums;
  • keep NATA abreast of technical developments and strategic issues in industry;
  • act as a liaison between NATA and relevant industry and professional societies ;
  • identify proficiency testing (PT) needs in order to promote the availability of relevant PT programs;
  • identify potential new areas of accreditation; and
  • identify means of improving technical competence.

Administrative

These activities may include:

  • reviewing assessment reports and recommending to NATA’s Board the granting of, or extension to, or changes to the accreditation of facilities; and
  • approving new technical assessors.

Confidentiality, Conflict of Interest and Liability

All information obtained in connection with a committee's activities are treated as confidential by all members of the committee according to the NATA Rules. All committee members are made aware of this requirement and must sign a confidentiality agreement at the time of appointment. Any observer who may be invited to attend an AAC meeting is also required to be bound by the same confidentiality agreement.

Committee members are also required to declare any conflict of interest they may have in relation to the activities of the committee.