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The Center was established by a decision of the governments of the six Member States of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf and the republic of Yemen, formalised through the Agreement and approved by the Board of Directors in 08 May 2013. This Agreement gives the Accreditation Center legal authority to provide specified accreditation services within the territories of all of the Members States in the fields of calibration, measurement, testing, inspection and certification, known generically as conformity assessment.

It is established under the stewardship of the Standardization Organization of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf and is governed by a Board of Directors who exercises regular supervision over the affairs of the Center, and regional committees whose members are drawn from all Member states, including stakeholder bodies.

Duties

GAC's role is to serve the GAC member countries national and public interest by ensuring that member facilities comply with relevant international and Gulf standards and so are competent to provide consistently reliable testing, calibration, measurement , certificates and inspection data to government, industry and the wider community. As part of Gulf's standards and conformance infrastructure, GAC facilitates international trade by reducing barriers such as technical barriers to trade.

GAC represents Gulf in:

  • The International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC).
  • The Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC).
  • The Arab Accreditation Cooperation (ARAC)

The above roles are recognized by the GCC member countries and the Republic of Yemen, Under the GAC agreement.

Standards, measurement and conformance in Gulf.

GAC is one of the bodies that form Gulf's standards and conformance infrastructure, which provides an important mechanism for improving the business efficiency and competitiveness of Gulf industry in international and national markets. The others are http://www.gso.org.sa, the gulfmet http://www.Gulfmet.org, and GCC council www.gcc-sg.org/

Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the Center are prescribed in Article 5 of the Agreement. The Article states:

In order to achieve its objectives the Accreditation Center undertakes the following responsibilities:

  1. Formulating and developing the accreditation policies within the member states;
  2. Planning, setting directions and developing the accreditation infrastructure for the member states in the field of accreditation, and making use of the available resources in all the member states;
  3. Making available the accreditation services- including granting accreditation - to the conformity assessments bodies and any other bodies whose work requires accreditation in the member states and other states;
  4. Specifying and preparing the Accreditation Requirements relevant to the conformity Assessment bodies and any other bodies engaged in conformity assessment whose work requires accreditation and also specifying and preparing guidance documents required for that;
  5. Signing the mutual recognition arrangements and other arrangements relevant to the Centre’s activities with regional and international bodies and organizations interested in accreditation;
  6. Preparing and providing training services in specific areas of the Centre’s specialization and encouraging and supporting studies and research concerned with accreditation activities and conformity assessments within the constraints set by the international standards and rules;
  7. Promoting awareness of the concept and importance of accreditation and its activities to those benefiting from accreditation services;
  8. Through the General Direction, representing member states in the regional and international assemblies regarding accreditation matters;
  9. Undertaking any other tasks concerning the activities of the Accreditation Centre which are approved by the Board of Directors provided that they do not conflict with the international procedures and practices.
Agreements

Nbr

Name

Date

1

Tunisian Accreditation Council

14-Aug-13

2

Turkish Accreditation Agency

26-Nov-13

3

United Kingdom Accreditation Service

17-Mar-14

4

Dubai Municipality Conformity Assessment Accreditation Department

22-May-14

5

Egyptian Accreditation Council

22-May-14

6

Spring Singapore

09-Sep-14

7

Taiwan Accreditation Foundation

16-Oct-14

8

American Association For Laboratory Accreditation

18-Nov-14

9

Emirates Standards And Metrology Agency-Accreditation Service

23-Nov-14

10

Komite Akreditasi Nasional

02-Dec-14

11

Japan Accreditation Board

08-Jan-15

12

Voluntary EMC Laboratory Accreditation Center Inc

08-Jan-15

13

International Accreditation Japan

08-Jan-15

14

Hong Kong Accreditation Service

09-Jan-15

Impartiality & Confidentiality

Impartiality

The impartiality of GAC activities as a Multi-Economy accreditation body is ensured through its organisation as well as the composition and operation of its committees. It fulfils the requirements of the applicable ISO/IEC 17011 standard and other applicable documents with regard to

  • the structure,
  • the balanced involvement of interested parties in the GAC Structure,
  • objectivity of the persons involved in the accreditation procedure,
  • freedom from financial, business or other obligations of the persons involved in the accreditation procedure,
  • competence for accreditation decisions and
  • related bodies.

As an independent accreditation body, GAC does not discriminate against any of its clients. Its services are generally available to all conformity assessment bodies and are invoiced based on cost in accordance with the applicable fee schedule.

Its organisation ensures that GAC staff, assigned assessors and experts along with the committees can maintain their independence with regard to the client's commercial interests. They are not subject to any pressure or influences that may negatively impact their assessment capabilities.

The impartiality of assigned assessors and experts is defined in the respective contracts and the guidelines for the appointment and commissioning of assessors and experts. Documentation regarding an assessment is provided in the relevant notes of the assessor/expert. All full-time and external employees of GAC are required to promptly notify management of any potential conflicts of interest.

Confidentiality

All full-time and external employees of GAC, members of GAC committees as well as all other persons that obtain knowledge of accreditation cases or receive other information as a result of their roles (e.g. APLAC/PAC/ARAC/ILAC/IAF evaluation teams), are required to treat this information in confidence.

These types of obligations are either directly set out in employment contracts, laws, procedure descriptions, or may be included in separate confidentiality agreements in special cases. The confidentiality obligation may be removed in special cases with the agreement of the conformity assessment bodies.

Such an agreement is not required if GAC is required to provide information by law, and the affected party has been informed in this regard. In this case, the affected contract partner will be notified of the provision of such information.

Members of GAC committees may be excluded from the transfer of certain information if this breaches the conditions of ISO/IEC 17011 (e.g. in the case of potential conflicts of interest).

Member Countries supervision

GAC is subject to the technical and legal supervision of the Board of Directors Composed of the ministers responsible of Accreditation and standardization in member Countries, the board assumes a leadership function. The design of the supervision function warrants the independence and impartiality of accreditation decisions.

GAC Creation Agreement

Organisation's Main Structures

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is composed of the competent Ministers responsible for standardization of each Member State. If the competent Minister of any Member State cannot participate, his representative shall be of the same rank as the minister.

The responsibilities and tasks of the Board of Directors are prescribed by Article 9 of the Agreement. The Article states:

The Board of Directors is the highest authority in the GAC. It controls and manages the affairs of the Center and adopts its general policies and, for this purpose it may exercise, in particular, the following functions:

  1. Approving the policies and strategies and plans of the Centre in light of its goals and specializations and following up their implementation;
  2. Following up the activities and achievements of the Centre;
  3. Appointing the General Director and terminate his services;
  4. Approving the establishment or closure of branches of the Centre;
  5. Making decisions about the amendments proposed by the General direction on this Agreement;
  6. The ratification of the final accounts of the Centre.
  7. Approving the annual budget, financial, accounting and administration systems of the Centre and agreeing to carry out transfers between clauses of the budget;
  8. The appointment of the external financial auditor and determine his rewards;
  9. Approving accreditation activities fees;
The Board can delegate some of his responsibilities to the General Director.
Stakeholders Advisory Committee

Responsibilities of the committee:

The committee is in charge of the implementation of the following tasks and functions:

  1. Study and discuss topics on the accreditation activities and make recommendations thereon.
  2. Review policies and strategies of the GAC and give opinion and appropriate recommendations to the General Director.
  3. Review the GAC plans and programs provided by the Director-General and make recommendations thereon.
  4. Review of annual reports on the activities and achievements of the Centre and give opinion, and appropriate recommendations.

Composition of the stakeholders advisory committee:

The Advisory Committee is composed of 3 groups of interested parties represented as follows:

1- Government authorities:

One representative of a government authority (ministry) in each of the Member States (7 members).

2- Conformity Assessment Bodies:

  1. One representative from the conformity assessment bodies accredited by the GAC (up to 6 members);
  2. One representative from the conformity assessment bodies associations.

3- GCC organizations, Industry and consumers:

  1. One representative of the chambers of commerce and industry of the Member States;
  2. One representative of the consumer protection organizations;
  3. One representative of the Secretariat-general of the Cooperation Council;
  4. One representative of the GCC Standardization Organization;
  5. One representative of the regional metrology organization GULFMET;
  6. One representative from NGOs representing beneficiaries of conformity assessment activities;
  7. One representative of the General Direction of the GCC accreditation Center.

All members shall perform their duties in professionalism and integrity and shall abide with GAC confidentiality policies.

Decision making at the stakeholders advisory committee:

Each representative is entitled to one vote.

Each member can request to be represented by another member of the same group of interested parties, a member cannot represent more than one other member. Proxy forms shall be sent at least 7 days before the meeting is due to take place.

Resolutions and recommendations made by the Stakeholders Advisory Committee concerning substantive matters must gain the approval of at least two thirds of Stakeholders Advisory Committee members.

In procedural matters, resolutions and recommendations shall be taken by majority vote of those in attendance. In cases of equally split votes the President shall have the casting vote. No Resolution or recommendation is made against the opinion of two groups, the opinion of a group is the one expressed by the majority of members present or represented in this group.

General Direction
The duties of the General Director are prescribed by Article 10 of the Agreement. The Article states the duties comprise of the following:
  1. Granting, withdrawing or suspending of accreditation and extending or reducing the scope of accreditations in accordance with applicable organizational rules.
  2. Formulating policies and long-term strategic plans, defining its priorities and directions and formulating annual plans of the activities of the Centre in light of endorsed strategies and following up their implementation after their approval.
  3. Preparing the annual and periodic reports concerning the achievements and activities of the Centre and making recommendations capable of developing its activities to the Board of Directors.
  4. Drafting the administrative and financial guidelines to the Centre and supervising their implementation after their approval.
  5. Recommending establishment or closure of branches of the Centre.
  6. Recommending amendments to this Agreement;
  7. Preparing the final statement of account of the Centre.
  8. Preparing the annual budget of the Centre and transfers between sections of budget and following up its implementation after its endorsement.
  9. Propose external financial auditors, and their remuneration to the Board of Directors;
  10. Proposing the Accreditation fees.
  11. Determining the administrative, financial, human and technical needs of the Centre to undertake its activities and responsibilities and ensuring their availability as well as the appointment of personnel.
  12. Liaising with the relevant national, Gulf, regional and international bodies to carry out the activities of the Centre.
  13. Administration of the Centre and supervision of its employees, administrative, technical, financial and contractual matters pursuant to this Agreement and the systems and organizational rules issued thereof.
  14. Forming specialized committees to assist in the application of accreditation procedures.
  15. Editing the rules governing formation of committees and their method of performing their work;
  16. Preparing systems, rules and technical guidelines of the Centre..
  17. Forming committees for appeals against decision pertaining to Accreditation;
  18. Representing the Centre in regional and international Arenas.
  19. Signing the mutual agreements and related activities with the regional and international organizations and cooperation in the field of accreditation;
  20. Implementing the responsibilities and tasks assigned to him.
Technical Advisory Committees TAC

The role of the TAC is prescribed in the GAC Rules. As guidance the TAC should consider its mandate to involve three broad areas:

Technical:

The primary role of the TAC is to provide technical guidance for the appropriate field of accreditation. In particular, TACs may be asked to:

  1. provide guidance on interpretation of the technical requirements included in the standard used for accreditation in the associated field or program;
  2. develop and review technical criteria specific to the work carried out by accredited organizations in the particular field or program;
  3. review technical criteria developed by the GAC Secretariat;
  4. support assessors and assist in their technical training, e.g. through assessor forums;
  5. keep GAC Secretariat staff abreast of technical developments and strategic issues in industry;
  6. act as a liaison between GAC and relevant industry and professional societies and standards writing committees;
  7. suggest new proficiency programs potential new programs.

Strategic:

Strategic activities in which TACs may be involved, include:

  1. identifying new areas of accreditation;
  2. identifying means of improving technical competence;
  3. identifying areas that require further education, e.g. clients of accredited conformity assessment bodies;
  4. critical evaluation of, and improvement to the functions and services of the TAC and GAC;
  5. recommending policy and operational changes to improve the performance of GAC and accredited CABs;
  6. promoting the relevance and importance of GAC’s activities to industry;
  7. raising the technical profile of GAC and increasing its exposure to future laboratory staff, e.g. through educational institutions and professional societies;
  8. determining the eligibility for accreditation of specific tests, calibrations, inspections or programs.

Administrative:

These activities are field dependent but may include:

  1. when requested providing advice to the Accreditation Decision Manager;
  2. recommending approval of new assessors;
  3. reviewing complaints and disagreements of a technical nature arising from assessments.

International Network

International Membership

GAC represents Gulf in:

  • The International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC).
  • The International Accreditation Forum (IAF)
  • The Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC).
  • the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC)
  • The Arab Accreditation Cooperation (ARAC)
The above roles are recognized by the GCC member countries and the Republic of Yemen, Under the GAC agreement.

Standards, measurement and conformance in Gulf.
GAC is one of the bodies that form Gulf's standards and conformance infrastructure, which provides an important mechanism for improving the business efficiency and competitiveness of Gulf industry in international and national markets. The others are http://www.gso.org.sa, the gulfmet http://www.Gulfmet.org, and GCC council www.gcc-sg.org/
Mutual recognition
  • A key objective of the international accreditation network is the mutual recognition of the services and results of accredited bodies in order to prevent technical obstacles and multiple accreditations.
  • This is made possible by multilateral agreements and treaties (MRA or MLA) between the national accreditation bodies and the international accreditation organizations. It creates both national and international recognition that CABs accredited by Accreditation Bodies signatories of the agreements are able to conduct certain conformity assessment activities in a competent manner.
  • GAC is under process of Recognition and expects to be able to sign the multilateral agreements by the Year 2017.

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+966 11 274-6655

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