A2LA Today June 2018 Newsletter

News

In This Issue...


A2LA Launches Cybersecurity Inspection Body Program

By Ashley Kamauf, A2LA Senior Accreditation Officer

A2LA launched its new Cybersecurity Inspection Body Program on June 6, 2018. This third-party accreditation offers an independent review of an organization’s compliance to both ISO/IEC 17020 (Requirements for the operation of various types of bodies performing inspections) as well as technical program requirements for the desired scope of accreditation (i.e. SOC II, HIPAA/HITECH, PCI, etc.).

This new program will also incorporate a technical proficiency activity with the Baltimore Cyber Range, a Maryland-based business and state-of-the-art facility to assess technical competence. Applicant organizations will need to send a team of 3-5 individuals through the range exercises and receive a passing score to proceed with the A2LA application process. Remedial training will be an option should an organization fail, but still wish to continue.

If an organization is interested in becoming a FedRAMP Third Party Assessment Organization (3PAO), they would need to gain accreditation as a Cybersecurity Inspection Body and maintain that accreditation for at least one year before being eligible for FedRAMP 3PAO consideration. The intent of this waiting period is to allow time for the organization's management system to mature and for the organization to demonstrate experience in a similar compliance scheme.  In addition to a review by the FedRAMP Program Management Office (PMO), the organization would also need to demonstrate compliance to the A2LA R311 FedRAMP specific requirements document and ensure all authorized inspectors in their organization participate in the Baltimore Cyber Range technical proficiency activity.


APLAC/IAAC Evaluation of A2LA to ISO/IEC 17011:2017

By Pam Wright, A2LA Quality Manager

From Left to right: Front: Liliane Somma – OUA, Johanna Acuna – ECA, Renata Borges – Cgcre, Martina Bednarova – ILAC, Getnet Tsigemelak – AFRAC
Back: Isabelle Amen – SCC, Vandana Jain – NABL, Lorena Ramirez – ema, Jason Stine – ANAB

From May 20 – 25, 2018, A2LA underwent our quadrennial peer evaluation by representatives from the Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) and the Inter-American Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC) for the purpose of confirming A2LA’s signatory status within the APLAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) (for the accreditation of testing and calibration labs, medical labs, inspection bodies, reference material producers, and proficiency testing providers) and the IAAC Multi-Lateral Arrangement (MLA) (for the accreditation of testing and calibration labs, inspection bodies, product certification bodies, reference material producers and proficiency testing providers). As ISO/IEC 17011:2017 was just released in November 2017 we had our work cut out for us getting all the necessary process changes made and documents updated and provided to the evaluation team three-months prior to the evaluation.  A2LA’ s innovative approach to ISO/IEC 17011:2017, ranks us as the first Accreditation Body in the world to be evaluated to this new standard.

Representatives from OUA-Uruguay, SCC-Canada, ema-Mexico, Cgcre-Brazil, NABL-India, ECA-Costa Rica, and ANAB-USA served on the evaluation team during the intensive week-long evaluation process.  A2LA’s records, staff, policies, procedures and on-site assessment practices were examined in detail.  In their draft summary report, the team called particular attention to A2LA’s skilled staff and excellent foundation of accreditation experience. The team also stated in their draft summary report that they were impressed with the expertise of A2LA assessors, thoroughness of assessments, and caliber of A2LA staff.

Two international representatives also attended the evaluation. One representative from ILAC observed the process for accreditation of proficiency testing providers for consideration to recommend IAAC as a full signatory to the ILAC MRA for the accreditation of proficiency testing providers, and one representative from the newly recognized regional body, the African Accreditation Cooperation (AFRAC), observed the process for accreditation of medical testing laboratories.

In addition to the team itself, representatives from nine U.S. government agencies were in attendance to observe the evaluation in order to bolster their confidence in A2LA and the MRA/MLA process overall.

A2LA extends its thanks and appreciation to the evaluation team for the thoroughness of their review, and to the government agency representatives in attendance for taking an important interest in this process.  We also extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to those organizations who agreed to have their A2LA assessments observed as part of this evaluation.


A2LA Issues First Accreditation to Newly Published ISO/IEC 17025:2017

By Kelsey Roberts, A2LA Marketing Manager

A2LA issued its first accreditation to the newly published ISO/IEC 17025:2017 standard in April. Following publication of the new standard in November 2017, A2LA rolled out a robust transition plan for current and new customers to implement it within the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) mandated 3-year transition period.

This milestone accreditation was completed by Fischer Custom Communications, A2LA certificate number 2393.01. Fischer Custom Communications is accredited to perform electrical – R/F microwave calibrations and has been accredited by A2LA, previously under the ISO/IEC 17025:2005 standard, for over 10 years.

“After spending almost 3 years on ISO CASCO Working Group 44 writing the new ISO/IEC 17025 standard it is very rewarding to actually see it fully implemented.  Having two A2LA staff on the working group, it was imperative for us to prepare our organization and initiate accreditation processes for the new version as soon as the final document was published,” said Trace McInturff, A2LA Senior Director Accreditation Services.

A2LA began regularly assessing to the new ISO/IEC 17025 standard on April 1, 2018 with the intent of enveloping currently accredited ISO/IEC 17025 laboratories to the new standard during their regularly scheduled renewal assessments.


  ISO/IEC 17025:2017 Transition Reminder

By Trace McInturff, A2LA Senior Director Accreditation Services

It’s hard to believe that 2018 is almost half over.  It seems like only yesterday we received notice from ISO that ISO/IEC 17025:2017 was confirmed as an International Standard (IS) and was published.  We have been incredibly busy since then updating our documents to come into compliance with not only ISO/IEC 17025, but ISO/IEC 17011:2017, as well.  The 200-plus revised documents are readily accessible via the A2LA Partner Portal.  

As indicated in our November 30, 2017 Transition Memorandum we began assessing to the new :2017 version of the ISO/IEC 17025 standard on April 1st and have performed over 200 assessments since then.  New applications received prior to September 30, 2018 still have the option of being assessed to either version of the standard. However, all renewal assessments with Certificates expiring after September 30, 2018 must be assessed to the new standard so that A2LA can meet the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) imposed three-year implementation deadline of November 30, 2020.

If you have any questions or need any additional information, please contact your Accreditation Services Officer.


The 40th Anniversary Celebrations Continue

By Steve Medellin, A2LA Director of Marketing and Business Development

A2LA is in full swing celebrating our 40th year of business. We will be hosting a staff celebration at our office headquarters in Frederick, MD on July 18th to mark the occasion. This event will include the dedication of a new conference room, with celebrations highlighting our past achievements and our future goals. We will be hosting several past A2LA leaders  to help us celebrate how far we have come since our humble beginning. Our success and leadership in this industry is due in large part to our passion and commitment to the virtues of accreditation; past, present and future.

As a part of our public festivities, A2LA will be having several receptions in conjunction with industry tradeshows we are participating in throughout the year. The first was held at the Loulay Kitchen and Bar, in conjunction with the ASQ World Conference on Quality and Improvement in Seattle, WA. The private mezzanine was reserved for the event and the Loulay food, staff and facility was fantastic. Those in attendance were treated to a fun evening with great food and conversation.  Stay tuned for updates on future receptions and 40th anniversary updates.

We are honored and humbled to serve the conformity assessment community and we look forward to being the Accreditation Body of choice for many years to come.


Staff Updates

By Lauren Bisson, A2LA HR Generalist

Employee Milestones

This quarter we celebrated several significant employee milestones!

20 Years
Steve Medellin
15 Years
Rob Miller
Pamela Wright
1 Year
Joe Appolonia
Ryan Kidwiler
Peter Davis

Congratulations to each of you for reaching these significant milestones in your career! A2LA appreciates your hard work, dedication and commitment and we look forward to seeing what the future at A2LA holds for you.

2018 Summer Internship Program

From left to right, front row; Kailey Williams, Kate Querry, Brooke Miller,
Back row; Tanner Spires and Derek Smith

A2LA is excited to welcome this year’s participants to the 2018 Summer Internship Program. An internship at A2LA provides participants with the opportunity to work on a variety of hands-on, strategic projects side-by-side with the A2LA team. Throughout the summer, interns will be working within their respective departments to enhance their current skills, learn new skills and apply knowledge acquired through the classroom. They will also be involved in a variety of teambuilding and networking events throughout the organization and get to know what life is like at A2LA.

  • Brooke Miller is currently studying Business Management at West Virginia University. This is her second year working as an intern in the HR department.
  • Kate Querry is also a returning intern this summer and is working in the Quality department. She will be attending the University of Pittsburgh this fall where she will study Molecular Biology with a pre-med concentration.
  • Derek Smith is working with our Finance and IT department while he continues to pursue a degree in Accounting and Information Systems at Mount St. Mary’s University.
  • Tanner Spires is currently pursuing his B.S. in Political Science from Grand Valley State University, Michigan. Tanner is currently working with our Business Development department.
  • Kailey Williams is currently pursuing her Psychology degree at Binghamton University, New York. Kailey will be working with the Marketing department this summer.

We are happy to have Brooke, Kate, Derek, Tanner and Kailey on board with us and look forward to working with each of them throughout the summer!

New Staff

From left to right: Terrianne Martin, Elizabeth Leamy, Frenika Rivers,
Kessa Jules and Etta Blackwell

  • Terrianne Martin is a new Accreditation Officer on the Product Certification and Electrical team. Before joining us in April of this year, Terrianne spent time working as a Lab Research Assistant at BaySaver Technologies. Ms. Martin received her B.S. in Environmental Science from Bridgewater College, Virginia.
  • Elizabeth Leamy joined A2LA in April as the new Business Development Associate (BDA) within our Marketing and Business Development department. Ms. Leamy has a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Virginia and several years of customer service experience under her belt. Prior to joining A2LA, she spent time working at All State as a Compliance Analyst as well as an Operations Leader.
  • Frenika Rivers joined A2LA this past May as an Accreditation Officer on the Calibration team. She received her B.A. in Urban Economic Development from Eastern University, Wayne, PA as well as her M.S. in Theology from Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC. Most recently, Ms. Rivers was employed by Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), where she was responsible for facilitating and participating in the accreditation process for a variety of education systems throughout the U.S.
  • Kessa Jules is an Accreditation Officer on the Clinical and Forensic team. Kessa spent most of her career as a Medical Laboratory Technician, while she served in the U.S. Air Force. She then spent several years working in customer service before deciding to join A2LA and is currently pursuing a degree in biology.
  • Etta Blackwell started her A2LA journey as an intern in 2017. After her internship, Etta rejoined A2LA on a temporary basis to help support the Training Department. Etta recently received her bachelor’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Hood College and joined A2LA as the new full-time Training Assistant.

We are pleased to welcome Terrianne, Elizabeth, Frenika, Kessa & Etta to our growing A2LA team!


  New & Updated Documents

By Pam Wright, A2LA Quality Manager

The following documents have been updated within the controlled A2LA management system. These documents are available on the A2LA website (www.A2LA.org) through the “Search” tool or may only be available on your customized portal (as appropriate) unless otherwise indicated.

If you have any questions about these updates, please contact A2LA at 301.644.3248 or your Accreditation Officer.

Checklists (A2LA Customer Portal Only):

C253 - Specific Checklist - Bluetooth Program is a new document dated 3/29/18.

C223 (2017) - Specific Checklist - Forensic Examination Accreditation Program – Testing is a new document dated 1/30/18.

C223 (2005) - Specific Checklist - Forensic Examination Accreditation Program – Testing is a revised document dated 1/30/18. Non-Editorial for:

  • Removed requirement about professional certification.
  • Renumbered sections F1.3 through F1.8 to F1.2 through F1.7.

C318 - Specific Checklist - Forensic Examination Accreditation Program – Inspection is a revised document dated 1/30/18. Non-Editorial for the removal of the requirement regarding professional certification.  

C025 - Checklist:  ISO/IEC 17025-2017 Laboratory Accreditation Program is a revised document dated 4/3/18. Editorial for:

  • Added asterisks for 4.1.4, 4.1.5, and 5.1;
  • Added thick black border around 8.8.2, 8.5.2, 8.2.2;
  • Added note in 7.2.1.1.

Forms:

F102 - Ownership Confirmation - ISO-IEC 17025:2017 is a new document dated 1/4/18.

F347 - Inspection Body Scheme Review is a new document dated 5/1/18.

Guidance Requirements:

R253 - Specific Requirements - Bluetooth Program is a new document dated 03/29/18.

R101 - General Requirements - Accreditation of ISO-IEC 17025 Laboratories; and

R301 - General Requirements:  Accreditation of ISO/IEC 17020 Inspection Bodies; and

R302 - General Requirements: Accreditation of ISO/IEC 17043 Proficiency Testing Providers; and

R303 - General Requirements:  TNI Proficiency Testing and SSAS Provider Accreditation Program; and

R304 - General Requirements: Accreditation of ISO 17034:2016 Reference Material Producers; and

R304 - General Requirements: Accreditation of ISO Guide 34 Reference Material Producers; and

R307 - General Requirements: Accreditation of ISO/IEC 17065 Product Certification Bodies are all revised documents dated 5/12/18. Non-Editorial for:

  • Editorial changes.
  • Updated the Mission statement.
  • Removed the 50-mile requirement for Satellites (where applicable).
  • Added information on Calibration Corporate Scopes (where applicable).
  • Changed closing meeting with top management to authorized representative.
  • Changed appeal process from BOD to Appeal Panel.
  • Removed appeal process diagram.
  • Clarified that voluntary withdrawal status is advertised on the A2LA website.
  • Added “if there is evidence of fraudulent behavior, intentional provision of false information or concealed information” to section XVI.
  • Clarified voluntary versus enforced inactive status.
  • Clarified SDAS in consultation with the P/CEO, as necessary.
  • Updated for the impartiality policy.
  • Updated the title of ISO/IEC 17011:2017.
  • Change surveillance visit to assessment.
  • Changed sign to acknowledge.
  • Added P/CEO or designee.
  • Removed “written” from response.
  • Removed “root” from cause analysis.
  • Added “typically” in front of F108, F330 (where applicable).

R231 - Specific Requirements - Threat Agent Testing Laboratory Accreditation Program for ISO-IEC 17025-2017 is a new document dated 6/1/18.


  Call for Speakers

A2LA is seeking . . .

A2LA seeks innovative session proposals that not only speak to relevant issues affecting the conformity assessment industry, but also provide context. Speakers should offer real-world examples, case studies, successes and failures, data, examples of tools and equipment, and insights on emerging issues affecting the conformity assessment industry. Sessions should be designed to encourage interactive audience participation.

A2LA is not looking for lectures, but rather innovative and exciting sessions. Topics can include: quality, conformity assessment, accreditation, testing or calibration, regulation, etc. Feel free to be creative!

How we select our speakers . . .

Proposals are reviewed by A2LA management and other subject matter experts, where appropriate.  A2LA expects the speaker to honor his/her commitment to present at the tech forum on the assigned date and time.

The proposals are evaluated based on relevant, accurate, and timely subject matter that will attract attendees.  The proposal should include a title, description that includes learning objectives, and outline how the audience will be engaged.  

If selected as a speaker, please carefully evaluate whether you would be able to comply with the deadlines stated below:

a. Session title and description with learning objectives
    – Due by August 31, 2018
b. Photo and bio (no more than 100 words) of presenter
    – Due August 31, 2018
c. Short bio for introducing the speaker
    – Due February 15, 2019
d. Presentation or handout for review and event app
    – Due by February 15, 2019
 
Please refer to the A2LA Tech Forum Speaking Guidelines for assistance in creating an impactful presentation that will attract and be memorable to the attendees.

Why you should present at the A2LA Tech Forum . . .

The A2LA Tech Forum attracts attendees from all walks of life within the quality, accreditation, and conformity assessment industries. Speakers will benefit from this increased visibility with the international, conformity assessment, and accreditation communities.  Opportunities to network with A2LA’s stakeholder group are incorporated into the event and the speaker can build their business and brand by showing our stakeholders their value and expertise.  Reference to the speakers and the overall event may be communicated to A2LA’s stakeholder group via hard copy mailers and other marketing material, the A2LA website, press releases and through social media, further enhancing a speaker’s visibility.

                                                       Industries Represented

 

How we thank you for presenting at our event . . .

As a nonprofit organization, A2LA strives to bring as much value to our forum attendees as possible while being mindful of cost.  A2LA events provide speakers the opportunity to demonstrate their expertise, knowledge and experience, as well as to network with other stakeholders during the event. Depending on certain factors, such as presentation type and length, we may offer such benefits as a full complimentary forum registration and/or one night of hotel stay.  Further details will be discussed if you are selected to present.  

Questions about being a presenter . . .

Please email forum@A2LA.org or call 301-644-3234.

If you are interested in getting more involved with the event . . .

Sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities are available.  Please contact businessdev@A2LA.org or call 240-575-7480 for a copy of our Sponsorship & Exhibitor Prospectus.  


  A2LA Bikes to Work!

By Steve Medellin, A2LA Director of Marketing and Business Development

The A2LA team of riders were from left to right: Steve Medellin, Cory Arant, Tiffany Greer, Michelle Bradac, Tiffany Gee and Rob Knake

In the United States, May is National Bike Month. The aim of this event is to bring awareness to and highlight the benefits of cycling, thus encouraging people to get out and bike. One of the marquee events of bike month is Bike to Work Day, which was scheduled for Friday, May 18th in the greater Washington DC area. Due to severe flooding in Frederick, the event was postponed until Friday June 1.  

A2LA staff biked from as close as 2 miles, and as far as 21 miles away! Our total team mileage was over 50 miles commuted one way. To commemorate the first of what we hope will be an annual event we commissioned a bike-themed version of the A2LA logo for t-shirts, which was created by our graphic design specialist, Gina McInturff.

The rendezvous in Frederick was well attended with many cyclists from the Frederick Area. We were all treated to a little exercise to get our workday started and several of the A2LA staff indicated that they would like to bike to work on a more regular basis. Ultimately the weather was perfect and we had a great ride. If you are interested in learning more about Bike Month or Bike to Work Day for next year in your area, or just cycling in general check out the League of American Bicyclists at http://www.bikeleague.org/.

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A2LA Today June 2018 Newsletter

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