PAC MULTILATERAL RECOGNITION ARRANGEMENT (MLA)-1

1. This Arrangement is based on the results of evaluations carried out in accordance with the relevant rules and procedures of the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC).2. This Arrangement consists of nine (9) Clauses.3. The parties to this Arrangement are the accreditation bodies on whose behalf the Arrangement has been signed (the “participating bodies”, collectively the “MLA Group”).4. Each participating body shall agree to abide by the terms and conditions of the MLA and shall: * maintain conformance with ISO/IEC 17011, and related PAC guidance documents; * ensure that all accredited Quality Management System Audit and Certification bodies comply with ISO/IEC Guide 62 or ISO/IEC 17021 and related PAC guidance as appropriate; * ensure that all Environmental Management System Audit and Certification bodies comply with ISO/IEC Guide 66; or ISO/IEC 17021 and related PAC guidance as appropriate; and * ensure that all Product Evaluation and Certification bodies comply with ISO/IEC Guide 65 and related PAC guidance as appropriate.5. Each participating body shall: * recognize the operation of the other systems – within the programs as defined in this Arrangement – as equivalent to its own; * recommend and promote the acceptance of the certificates of conformity within the recognized scopes from the bodies accredited by the participating bodies as being on an equal basis with those of its own accredited bodies.6. Each participating body shall: * investigate all complaints initiated by a participating body resulting from certificates of conformity issued by the bodies it has accredited within its accreditation program; * notify all other participating bodies as soon as possible of any significant changes that have occurred or will occur in its status, in the operational practices of its system or in its accreditation programs; * contribute as appropriate to the work of the MLA Group; * participate as appropriate in the meetings of the Technical Committee and of the MLA Group; * provide auditors/assessors for the evaluation, re-evaluation and surveillance to the accreditation programs of the MLA Group members and applicants; * cooperate with other accreditation bodies so that the MLA may be extended; * use all information in a confidential and professional manner.7. If, in accordance with the relevant rules and procedures, it is agreed that an additional accreditation body that operates a system may participate in the Arrangement, an MLA Signature Sheet shall be signed by the new accreditation body and duly authorized by the PAC Chair. The new signatory shall be added to the General Letter Advising MLA Signatories (PAC-DOC-032) . The same procedure shall be followed if it is agreed that a participant to the Arrangement may extend its accreditation programs.8. If a participating body wishes to withdraw from this Arrangement for any reason whatsoever, that body shall notify the other participating bodies to this Arrangement in writing through the MLA Management Committee not later than three months in advance of withdrawing. Upon withdrawal of a body or changing the extent of its accreditation programs, that body’s MLA Signature Sheet shall be withdrawn, a new MLA Signature Sheet shall be signed (if appropriate) and PAC-DOC-032 shall be revised accordingly. After each change in PAC-DOC-032 the rrevised document shall be signed by the Chair of PAC and circulated to all members and the PAC Website.9. Any amendment of the text of this Multilateral Recognition Arrangement shall be approved by the PAC Plenary.

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