A refresher training session was conducted on May 6th and 7th, 2023, specifically designed for team members authorized in product certification and inspection. The training took place in Montreal, Canada, with the participation of 50 individuals from 20 Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs). Leading the training were Krishna Pandey, John Herru, and Danial Lopes.
The training covered various general topics related to the peer-evaluation process. Participants gained insights into the outcome of application reviews, criteria for selecting team members, witnessing procedures, the decision-making process, recent MAC Decisions, relevant documents pertaining to peer evaluation, revisions of EA-2/02 EA Procedure for the evaluation of Conformity Assessment Bodies following the completion of the re-engineering project, and the utilization of MS Teams under EA OneDrive as the platform for peer evaluations.
Engaging discussions arose from the selected topics, including document reviews, the selection of witnessing and file reviews, the scope of accreditation coverage, closing non-conformities, competency criteria for assessors, assessment of new schemes, and the implementation of the preferred standard in alignment with EA-2/17 EA Document on Accreditation for Notification purposes.
Regarding EA-2/17, special emphasis was placed on Annex A, which identifies the preferred harmonized standard for each legislation and module, as well as Annex B, which outlines additional requirements derived from other harmonized standards to support a comprehensive assessment of competence and performance under each module. Specific examples were discussed to prepare evaluators for on-site evaluations.
Breakout sessions provided an opportunity for evaluators to share their experiences and insights within smaller groups, focusing on competency criteria, findings, the accreditation scope (including flexible scopes), and the assessment of independence and impartiality criteria. These collaborative sessions fostered a harmonized understanding among participants, contributing to ongoing improvement in the peer evaluation process.