The Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC), after successfully completing a Peer Evaluation process, was accepted as a Signatory of the Inter-American Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), effective 18th and 31st August 2013, respectively. The achievement means that JANAAC is now an internationally recognized accreditation authority, having signed the IAAC Multilateral Recognition Arrangements (MLA) and the ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA).
ILAC is the apex of the global accreditation mechanism, being the international authority on laboratory accreditation. Its membership consists of accreditation bodies and stakeholder organizations representing over 70 economies and regional organizations. Once accepted into the ILAC MRA, members can enter into a license arrangement to use the official ILAC-MRA Mark along with their own accreditation Symbol, known as a Combined MRA Mark. Accreditation bodies and their accredited labs who sub-license the Mark may enjoy the benefit of promoting their accreditation as internationally recognized. Laboratories that are accredited by JANAAC would therefore benefit from a competitive edge internationally, made possible by having the Combined MRA Mark that facilitates the acceptance of their test/calibration reports in any other signatory country around the world.
As a Signatory to the ILAC MRA, JANAAC is committed to maintain its operations in conformity with the current version of the ISO/IEC 17011 Standard. The Standard outlines the general requirements for bodies providing assessment and accreditation of Conformity Assessment Bodies. Importantly, JANAAC is also obligated to ensure that all laboratories that it accredits, comply with appropriate laboratory standards- ISO 15189: Medical Laboratories- Particular requirements for quality and competence and ISO/IEC 17025: General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories.
JANAAC continues to be a trailblazer, solidifying its competence in the field of quality assurance and conformity assessment; re-positioning Jamaica for even greater, more robust benefits from international trade; and providing added confidence in the domestic marketplace.