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1. Background

The role of the i-NAF MLA Committee is to manage the operations of the i-NAF Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) programmes in accordance with the respective i-NAF policies and procedures.

2. Duties and responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities of MLA Committee are to:

a) plan and manage the implementation and maintenance of the i-NAF MLAs among i-NAF Natural Accreditation Body Members, based on peer evaluation demonstrating equal reliability and/or equivalence of the operations of their Accreditation Systems against the relevant ISO/IEC/OIC/SMIIC Standard/Guide and i-NAF/IAF/IHAF/PAC Mandatory/Guidance in accordance with i-NAF/IAF/IHAF/PAC Policies and Procedures;

b) maintain and develop the i-NAF MLA based on the concept of equivalence of the operation of member bodies’ accreditation systems, and on the equivalence of the certificates of conformance and certificates of competence issued by bodies accredited by the member bodies of the i-NAF MLA;

c) manage the evaluation and re-evaluation programme based on periodic visits to applicants and / or Signatories to the MLA;

d) resolve complaints between applicants / members and the peer evaluation teams arising from the peer evaluation process;

e) make recommendations to the i-NAF MLA Group for acceptance, withdrawal, or suspension of Membership to the MLA;

f) keep a current list of i-NAF MLA team leaders and team members for the MLA peer evaluation process;

g) evaluate nominated team leaders and team members and approve their appointment / promotion as evaluators for the peer evaluation process;

h) maintain and publish the list of Signatories to the MLA;

i) analyse the demand for peer evaluator training and coordinate peer evaluator training / workshops; and

j) appoint i-NAF members for service on the IAF MLA Committee in accordance with Addendum to these Terms of Reference.

3. Membership

Chair: The i-NAF General Secretary is the Chair of the i-NAF MLA Committee.

Vice-Chair: The Vice-Chair of the i-NAF Committee shall be appointed by the i-NAF Accreditation Committee from amongst the other 4 members of the Committee.

Members: There will be six voting members. One is the Chair of the i-NAF MLA Committee. The others will be elected by the MLA Group from amongst MLA Signatories.

All members and non-voting participants are required to sign a confidentiality agreement.

4. Term of service

4.1 The term of service of the Chair of the MLA Committee is the as the term of 3 years.

4.2 The term of service for members of the i-NAF MLA Committee is three years. Upon expiration of their terms, members shall continue to serve until a replacement is appointed. A maximum of two consecutive terms may be served with a break of one full term required before additional reappointment;

4.3 Should a member of the i-NAF MLA Committee resign or be unable to continue serving for any reason before the end of his/her term of office, the Natural Accreditation Committee may appoint a person to serve as a member of the i-NAF MLA Committee who shall hold the position until an election by the i-NAF Committee.

5. Meeting frequency

The MLA Committee shall meet as frequently as is necessary to manage MLA activities. The meetings shall be called by the Chair of the MLA Committee.

6. Quorum

The quorum at a meeting of the MLA Committee shall be four voting members present, of whom at least one shall be the Chair or the Vice-Chair of the MLA Management Committee.

7. Voting

7.1 The MLA Committee shall seek to make all decisions by consensus. If a vote is necessary the votes of the majority of the members present at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall determine the decision.

7.2 Each member of the MLA Committee has one vote; the Chair has a casting vote.

8. Reporting

Not applicable.