Mutual Recognition of Accreditation Bodies ("Arrangement Bodies")
These bodies provide the means (formal agreement called an "arrangement) whereby nations can formally recognise the equivalence of other laboratory accreditation programs. In some nations, there are more than one laboratory accreditation body and all participate in the formal recognition of new applicants. All recognised members must commit to the applicable formal "arrangement" that governs the specific cooperation and become a signatory to it.
At the international (top) level, only the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) works in the area of recognising the equivalence of laboratory accreditations. The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) works in the area of recognising the equivalence of other types of accreditation, such as management system certification, personnel certification, and product certification.
The actual work involving evaluation of accreditation bodies in support of recognition is conducted at the Regional level. There are currently five regional bodies (regional cooperations) in ILAC. Of those, only two operate in North America. They are the InterAmerican Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC) and the Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC).
IAF. The IAF is the world association of Conformity Assessment Accreditation Bodies and other bodies interested in conformity assessment in the fields of management systems, products, services, personnel and other similar programmes of conformity assessment. The list of signatory members can be found here.
Regional Arrangements affecting North America
APLAC. APLAC is a cooperation of accreditation bodies in the Asia Pacific region that accredit laboratories, inspection bodies and reference material producers. The list of signatory members can be found here.
IAAC. The InterAmerican Accreditation Cooperation is an association of accreditation bodies in the Americas and other organizations interested in conformity assessment. The list of signatory members can be found here.