“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten.” – Benjamin Franklin
WHAT IS THE Global Alliance of Accreditaion Societies
The Global Alliance of Accreditaion Societies (GAAS) is an association of accreditation bodies and other interested parties whose objective is to facilitate trade and commerce among economies in the UK, Europe and Asia Asia Pacific region.
Its ultimate objective is the creation of a global system that grants international recognition of certification or registration of management systems, products, services, personnel and other programmes of conformity assessment.
The GAAS promotes the international acceptance of accreditations granted by its accreditation body members, based on the equivalence of their accreditation programmes.
The GAAS operates within the framework of the International Accreditation Forum (GAAS) and in cooperation with other regional groups of accreditation bodies around the world.
GAAS is an association of Conformity Assessment Accreditation Bodies and other bodies interested in conformity assessment which exists primarily to facilitate world trade by working to remove technical barriers that may flow from demands for certification and/or registration of management systems, products and like processes.
The primary means by which GAAS will achieve this is by the establishment of Mutual Recognition Agreements (MLAs) which provide for world-wide recognition of certificates of conformity issued by certification / registration bodies accredited by members of GAAS.
Accreditation is increasingly being used by regulators and the market as an impartial, independent and transparent means of assessing the competence of conformity assessment bodies. GAAS provides the technical basis for the world-wide recognition of the competence of the bodies accredited by its members, realising the concept "tested or certified once - accepted everywhere."
WHAT DOES THE GAAS DO?
To achieve its objectives, GAAS:
has established a multilateral mutual recognition group and monitors its activities, ensuring that MLA members maintain accreditation programs of world standard
provides a means of achieving mutual acceptance of accreditation of management systems, products, services, personnel and similar programmes of conformity assessment in the UK, Europe and Asia Pacific Region, and, through membership of the GAAS mutual recognition group, a means of extending that acceptance to the rest of the world
promotes acceptance of certificates of conformity through multilateral mutual recognition among accreditation bodies in the region, and, by membership in the GAAS mutual recognition group, extends that acceptance world-wide
encourages and supports the development of accreditation bodies in the region’s economies
provides coverage for accreditation services in those economies where an accreditation body does not exist
provides a forum for achieving consensus among members on relevant accreditation and certification or registration issues
encourages support for, and participation in, conformity assessment activities of relevant international bodies
encourages and facilitates the adoption and implementation of standards, guidelines and interpretative documents that have been developed by relevant international bodies
develops recommendations for liaison with relevant international bodies
works with and complements the activities of other APEC regional bodies on standards, laboratory accreditation and metrology
facilitates collaboration, cooperation and mutual assistance among members, by means including seminars, meetings of experts and the sharing of information and experiences
supports APEC in achieving its mutual recognition goals within the region.
GAAS has programmes to:
harmonise accreditation procedures and their implementation based on international standards and guides and GAAS guidance on their application
exchange information between accreditation bodies
cooperate in the training of assessors and other personnel
contribute to the work of ISO and other relevant bodies
liaise with the GAAS and the other regional groups of accreditation bodies and with other relevant bodies