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What type of documents does IAF publish?

20 Apr 2021

IAF publishes a number of documents to communicate policy decisions and rules, share best practices, and support accreditation body and conformity assessment body operations. These documents, which are under constant review, are core to the effective operation of IAF, and support IAF’s objective of accredited once accepted everywhere.


All IAF documents are clearly categorised depending on the nature or purpose of the document. Some contain mandatory requirements, however others are available for advisory or informative purposes.


The categories are as follows:


Policy Documents (PL Series): Policy documents set out the governance requirements that IAF Members are expected to follow, as well as the IAF position on current issues.


Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) Documents – (ML Series): In order to ensure that the various accreditation programs in the IAF MLA are operated in an equivalent and harmonized way worldwide, IAF issues documents that need to be followed by IAF Members. Such IAF documents are based on the experience of IAF Members and represent agreement among IAF Members on best practice in the application of requirements.


IAF Informative Documents (ID Series): Informative Documents reflect the consensus of IAF Members on a given subject and are intended to support the consistent application of requirements. As these documents are for information purposes only, Accreditation Body Members, and the conformity assessment bodies they accredit, are not under any obligation to use or comply with these documents.


IAF Mandatory Documents (MD Series): IAF publishes Mandatory Documents which are required to be used by accreditation bodies when accrediting certification bodies to assure that they operate their programs in a consistent and equivalent manner. Mandatory documents are not intended to establish, interpret, subtract from or add to the requirements of any ISO/IEC standard, but simply to assure consistent application of those standards.


Procedures Documents (PR Series): IAF Procedures documents set out the procedures to be followed in implementing the IAF program, including the procedures and processes which must be followed in order to satisfy the IAF objectives, Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws.


IAF-ILAC Joint Publications (A Series): This category includes documents that are published jointly with ILAC, and are used in the evaluation of regions and unaffiliated accreditation bodies.


Documents for General Information: IAF publishes a number of documents which are made available to assist businesses, regulators and other parties to gain a better understanding of IAF and its operations.


Promotional Documents: IAF publishes a range of promotional documents for use by IAF Members, their accredited conformity assessment bodies and other stakeholders interested in accreditation.