(MENAFN ) Dubai, 30 May 2021: The Emirates International Accreditation Center (EIAC) started its steps towards becoming a global organization ever since it obtained international recognition from international accreditation organizations ILAC, IAF, ARAC, and APAC. These steps and achievements continued despite the challenges that the world faced due to the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.
EIAC had many stations and qualitative transfers that took place in many areas of accreditation, the most important of which was its obtaining international recognition in all fields, and expansion in new areas, not only within the UAE, but it has surpassed the regional level. It recently obtained international recognition in the areas of accreditation of certification bodies for individuals, occupational health and safety systems, and information security.
Dawoud Al Hajri, Chairman of the EIAC Council, said: ‘The name of the UAE has been associated with this achievement as the EIAC has become the first Arab and regional accreditation body to obtain these recognitions. It is in fulfillment of our commitment to society and keeping pace with the accelerating changes that have cast shadows on various aspects of life.”
‘EIAC has added rapid amendments to work plans in order to meet the needs of partners and the necessary regulatory authorities in the fields of public health and medical fields such as accreditation of medical examination laboratories in the field of RT PCR and antibody testing,” said Al Hajri.
‘EIAC also gives accreditation to testing laboratories for the efficiency of sterilization materials and the safety of personal protective equipment, and the inspection bodies for the efficiency of sterilization systems and public health, as well as granting certificates to business continuity management systems,” he said.
He added that the accreditation work provided by EIAC has become a nationally and internationally integrated quality and conformity system, which was one of the important stations of the center in obtaining international recognition in 2009.
‘EIAC started its journey as the department of accreditation of conformity assessment in Dubai Municipality until it witnessed its new launch as EIAC with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai issuing the law establishing the center in 2015. The decree appointed members of the EIAC Council, whose management included representatives of the local and federal authorities related to the quality and conformity system at the state level. It had a significant impact on achieving complementarity of roles with these bodies, enriching the work of EIAC and achieving its goals,” pointed out Al Hajri.
EIAC No. 1 regionally and internationally
He added: ‘The achievements of EIAC were in harmony with the development system of our work process in the emirate of Dubai and the country, in which the center formed a fundamental pillar in achieving internationalization in terms of the approval of conformity assessment, which translates the Dubai Plan 2021 towards the advancement of Dubai as a global destination at various levels, which resulted in qualifying it as a fertile environment for investments and the country embracing the largest number of conformity assessment bodies, whose results are recognized at the regional level.”
Amina Ahmed, Executive Director of EIAC, added that the number of bodies approved by EIAC has reached 920, including medical laboratories, testing and calibration laboratories, inspection bodies, conformity certification bodies and Halal certificates granting bodies.
‘The work of EIAC focused on achieving the pillars of the strategic plan of the emirate, including the implementation of health, safety and environment standards and the promotion of international recognition as the global capital of the Islamic economy. This has resulted in EIAC reaching the number one spot globally through the accreditation of the largest number of conformity bodies and Halal certificates granting bodies for food products and cosmetics. EIAC has reached 61 destinations in more than 42 countries, and this number greatly supports the infrastructure for the comfortable and smooth import of goods in the Emirate of Dubai in preparation for our reception of Expo 2020 in October of this year,” added Ahmed.
Expanding areas of international recognition
It is worth noting that EIAC has achieved international recognition since 2009, and efforts have been successful in 2020 by obtaining international recognition in three new areas, which include certification bodies for individuals as one of the most important areas of developing and qualifying human resources to carry out technical and administrative tasks, according to carefully defined requirements that benefit different work sectors.
EIAC has approved 27 certification bodies for individuals in the fields of Food Safety Supervisor, Health Supervisors for Labor Accommodations, Crane and Machinery Operators in Construction Sites and Factories, Games Operators in Recreational Facilities, Lifeguards at Pools and Water Games, certification bodies for Occupational Safety Systems according to the requirements of the international standard ISO 45001, which is the latest version in occupational safety management systems, as a standard for granting safety certificates to institutions and companies, which have importance in occupational safety systems within government and private institutions to carry out public safety measures to combat the spread of the Covid-19 virus. The most recent recognitions also included EIAC obtaining international recognition for accreditation of certification bodies for Information Security Systems in accordance with the requirements of the international standard ISO 27001, which is a standard for granting certificates of information security systems.
Qualitative leap and achievements during the year 2020
Despite the effects of the spread of the new Corona virus, EIAC has made many achievements in accrediting conformity assessment bodies during the year 2020, as the center received 95 new applications in all areas of accreditation, which reflects the importance of obtaining accreditation and confidence of local and international conformity assessment bodies in EIAC services despite some economic impacts. The laboratory sector constitutes the biggest in terms of number of laboratories that have obtained accreditation due to the increased demand for accreditation service in medical fields according to the requirements of ISO 15189 and the areas of RT PCR and antibodies tests for Covid-19 virus, in addition to the increased demand for accreditation of chemical and biological testing laboratories for sterilization materials and its efficiency in eliminating microbes and viruses on surfaces, and in laboratories for personal protective equipment and safety.
EIAC also expanded its accreditation services for Halal certification companies worldwide, which included many countries, including Brazil, Ireland, Thailand, Slovenia, Japan, Australia and France. This accreditation had a positive impact on the readiness of Halal conformity for the products of these countries, and this was reflected in the ease of release procedures for goods. In addition, others who are being approved to join the system include Russia, Greece, Ukraine, Chile and Argentina. These actions focus on supporting the plans of the country and the emirate, the health, safety and environment system and the Islamic economy. In addition to that the EIAC has a regional role in supporting intra-trade and removing technical barriers in front of products and services exported and imported to the emirate and the UAE, which was achieved through a clear vision.
Digital Transformation Project
In line with government trends in smart digital transformation, EIAC’s new website was launched in June 2020 as one of the electronic services within the digital transformation project in cooperation with the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du). An agreement for the digital transformation project for accreditation services was also signed for the benefit of a large segment of EIAC’s partners and customers at the local and international levels.
As a new stage for EIAC’s expansion in its business and tasks, it has moved to the new headquarters located in the Dubai World Trade Center area, the One Central building complex, after spending nearly 20 years under the umbrella of Dubai Municipality.
New areas of accreditation at EIAC
EIAC’s achievements also witnessed the addition of new areas under its umbrella, represented by the launch of the accreditation service for certification bodies for BCMS systems under the umbrella of international recognition of IAF MLA, and the provision of accreditation service for inspection of bolts and anchor bolts in recreational facilities and games areas according to the international standard ISO/IEC 17020 under the international recognition umbrella of ILAC MRA of the International Organization for Accreditation of Laboratories and Inspection Bodies.
EIAC’s role in supporting UAE’s efforts in Covid-19 precautionary measures
It was natural for EIAC to play its role, and to participate in the great efforts undertaken by all sectors of the country to contain and overcome the effects of Covid-19 virus, as the center launched a number of rapid accreditation services under exceptional circumstances with the aim of serving the medical sector and the public health and safety system. This role was evident in the fight against the effects of the spread of Covid-19 virus, which began on the first of March 2020, as EIAC analyzed the situation based on the data and variables witnessed by the world, and found alternative ways to continue work, especially the field evaluation of the conformity assessment bodies in light of this challenge. After the WHO declared Covid-19 an international pandemic, EIAC formed an emergency public group for business continuity to ensure that none of its services was interrupted. EIAC had a tangible role in supporting the national sterilization program and supporting the supervisory and executive authorities in the performance of their tasks, by adopting conformity assessment bodies operating in the medical and public health fields.
It is worth noting that the EIAC Board of Directors consists of a chairman, represented by the Director General of Dubai Municipality and the vice chairman represented by the Secretary General of the Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council, in addition to members representing the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, Department of Economic Development, Dubai, Dubai Center for Development of Islamic Economy, Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ras Al Khaimah Municipality and Executive Director of EIAC.