Meeting Chair UKAS – Jon Murthy explains the importance of the meeting and the location. “Over the past couple of years, we have worked at moving the IAF and ILAC communications meetings to a variety of locations. By engaging with different regions of the accreditation community we achieve two key objectives. Firstly, we generate better input into the communications work with different perspectives from different IAF members in different geographies; secondly it enables the content IAF and ILAC generate to be clearly understood and used by all IAF and ILAC members.”
The meeting hosted by Argentinian accreditation body OAA addressed a number of key issues. These included the development of new content for publicsectorassurance.org and business-benefits.org , the websites vital in showcasing the benefits of accreditation, certification and standards. The group also looked at ideas for the 2019 World Accreditation Day, following the 2018 World Accreditation Day theme of Accreditation — delivering a safer World for 9 June 2018
The 2017 announcement of the development of the IAF database of accredited management system certificates gave the communications group a new area of activity. This meant examining the communications needed to support the database, delivering a vital tool for certified organisations to demonstrate to a wider audience their certification.
Jon concludes, “Communications plays an essential role in ensuring the value of accreditation is understood as widely as possible. Working with colleagues from across the full IAF membership – such as IAAC – will help further spread the message of the benefits it delivers.”
Spreading the messages of the benefits of accredited certification in Argentina
Having IAF communications meetings in different geographies outside the realm of the IAF/ILAC Joint Annual and Mid-Term meetings presents fabulous opportunities to engage with key stakeholders.
IAF Communications & Marketing Committee (CMC) Deputy Chair and IAF Director representing certification body associations Marcus Long explains, “The CMC group works hard at producing great material and great channels for communicating this content. Sites like publicsectorassurance.org and business-benefits.org hand the conformity assessment industry vital tools to help them in their dialogue with potential users. Locating the meetings in a variety of places enables us to actually get out there and spread the messages.”
Whilst in Argentina the CMC Chair (Jon Murthy) and Vice Chair (Marcus) both took the opportunity to spread these messages.
- Firstly, Marcus took the messages of how conformity assessment can be used by the agriculture and food sector at Argentina’s biggest agricultural trade show Expoagro . Presenting to a diverse audience and meeting with Minister of Agriculture Luis Miguel Etchevehere helped explain how various conformity assessment tools can be used to boost Argentinian exports.
- Secondly, a number of the banks in Argentina are interested in understanding how accredited certification can help boost business and deliver better risk management of the banks’ investments. To support this, Marcus presented to the Banco de la Nación Argentina. In both instances Marcus worked with Argentinian CB association CACER who continue to push the agenda with these vital stakeholders.
- Finally, Jon and Marcus presented to the Quality Infrastructure Council for the Americas ( QICA ), explaining the range of tools and content IAF has to be able to tell exactly the kind of stories told at Expoagro and to Banco de la Nación Argentina.
Marcus summarised, “The IAF Communications and Marketing Committee produces great material to tell the tale of conformity assessment. But, this only delivers value if we get out there and engage with our stakeholders. Combining the development of the material with spreading it to a wider audience in Argentina demonstrates exactly the value of the CMC’s work.”