The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) is making it easier for Canadian businesses to market their goods and services to customers in the Asia-Pacific region, by participating in the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) developed by the Asia-Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC). The Mutual Recognition Arrangement facilitates the acceptance of conformity assessment results between the organizations that signed the MRA. This is important because clients and regulators often require conformity assessment bodies to be accredited before they will accept their conformity assessment results. Accreditation is the formal recognition of the competence of an organization to perform a particular conformity assessment function.
APLAC is an international non-governmental organization that promotes regional cooperation among accreditation bodies in the Asia Pacific regions. Its primary aim is to establish, develop and expand a mutual recognition arrangement among accreditation bodies in the region. It also provides a collaboration forum for conformity assessment bodies (testing and calibration laboratories, inspection bodies, reference material producers and other related services, as well as accreditation bodies such as SCC). Currently, there are 44 Full members that represent APLAC and 37 of them are signatories to the APLAC MRA, which encompasses six types of conformity assessment activities.
APLAC celebrates its Silver Jubilee in 2017, marking a noteworthy milestone in its history. This year also marks the significant decision of APLAC and PAC (Pacific Accreditation Cooperation) to merge and create a combined regional body by 2019. This single regional body for accreditation in the Asia Pacific region is expected to bring synergy and foster closer interaction and collaboration among member bodies in the region.
SCC became a signatory of the APLAC MRA in 2000 and since then has played an integral part in this regional cooperation arrangement, participating in technical committees, working groups, peer evaluations and proficiency testing programs.