Statements regarding Implementation of ISO/IEC 17020


In the recent months a number of matters have arisen affecting the NATA’s Inspection accreditations, as follows:

  1. Publication of ISO/IEC 17020:2012
    In March 2012 ISO published a revision of ISO/IEC 17020:1997 (AS/NZS ISO/IEC 17020:1999).  This document was adopted as a full-text adoption without change and released as AS/NZS ISO/IEC 17020:2013.  In order to facilitate international acceptance of the accreditations provided by NATA, it has been decided to reference the ISO/IEC document and date, rather than the date of the national adoption.  Accreditation certificates and scopes of accreditation will be changed progressively to reference ISO/IEC 17020:2012 as facilities are assessed and found compliant with the new standard.
  2. Implementation and Adoption of the new Standard
    In October 2012 the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), the peak global body for laboratory and inspection accreditation bodies, resolved that to maintain international mutual recognition of accreditations the recently published ISO/IEC 17020:2012 must be implemented and a deadline transition date of end March 2015 was established.

    In order to meet this deadline NATA provided documentation and information to all accredited facilities and to affected Technical Assessors, and commenced assessment against ISO/IEC 17020:2012 in July 2013.  This timeframe was selected to allow a smooth transition during routine visits, with an anticipated completion date of March 2015. 

    In the period between June 2013 and March 2015 therefore NATA accredited facilities may be accredited to either AS/NZS ISO/IEC 17020:1999 or ISO/IEC 17020:2012.  Changes to accreditation status are updated daily and the current scope of accreditation may be found through NATA’s website,
  3. IAF / ILAC / ISO Joint Communique re 17020
    Recently a joint communique has been released by the peak global bodies for standardisation (ISO), inspection body accreditation (ILAC) and certification interests (IAF).  This communique provides information regarding the relationship between UISO/IEC 17020:2012 and the ISO 9001:2008.  Inspection bodies operating to ISO/IEC 17020:2012 are agreed to meet the management systems requirements relevant to its operations, which are aligned with the pertinent requirements of ISO 9001.  A copy of the Joint communique can be found on the NATA website at  Accreditation Publications > Field Updates >  Inspection > IAF/ILAC/ISO Joint Communique re 17020

Any queries or discussion on any of these matters should be directed to:
Mr Julian Wilson
Sector Manager, Inspection
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