The closing ceremony of the twinning project funded by the European Commission “Strengthening the National Accreditation System of the Republic of Azerbaijan” was held in Baku last October.
Supported by a European group of representatives in Azerbaijan, the project involved the National Accreditation Bodies of EU Member States, DAkkS (Germany), Latak (Latvia) and Accredia (Italy), for AzAK – Azerbaijan Accreditation Centre, the beneficiary of the project. Objective, to promote access and competitiveness of Azerbaijan on the international market, through an accreditation system that contributes to the economic growth in compliance with European standards and helps to increase the quality of local products and services.
The two-year project involved more than 30 experts for 63 activities, 18 training courses, 4 workshops and study tours between 2017 and 2019, aimed at strengthening the competence of the Azerbaijani body in different sectors, from the regulatory and technical aspects of accreditation to the external communication.
The activities were organized into four “components”:
- “Upgrading the legal and regulatory framework” in order to be in line with the international requirements of EA, IAF and ILAC.
- “Capacity Building” aimed to increase the knowledge of ISO standards and their requirements both theoretically and practically, through the training of technical staff and assessors and the simulation of on-site and external audits.
- “Institutional capacity improvement”, activity that led to the implementation of the new internal procedures management system.
- “External communication and international networking” to increase the capacity of AzAK in external relations and international networking, with the objective to implement a corporate communication strategy, from the design of a new website to the organization of events for raising awareness of accreditation benefits.
The final event of the project was attended by the Head of the EU delegation in Azerbaijan Kestutis Jankauskas, the German Ambassador Wolfgang Manig and the Latvian Ambassador Dainis Garancs, the Head of the Trade Office of the Italian Embassy Lorena Maschietto and the project leaders. Among them the representative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy Norbert Schultes, the Chairman of the Committee on Economic Policy, Industry and Entrepreneurship of Azerbaijan Ziyad Samadzade, the General Director of AzAK Namig Aliyev, the Managing Director of DAkkS Stephan Finke and the General Director of Accredia Filippo Trifiletti.
In 2020, Accredia will continue in its commitment to international development and cooperation, with the new Twinning project for Georgia, assigned by the European Commission to the consortium composed of Accredia, Unioncamere, DAkkS and BAM (Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing). Objective, support the fulfillment of the EU-Georgia association agreement (AA) and improve the accreditation and conformity assessment systems, in relation to European and international requirements. The Georgian Accreditation Body (GAC) will be supported in a process of compliance with EU best practices, through specific activities within the three “components” of the project:
- Review of the Georgian legal framework on accreditation, according to the applicable regulations and directives, with an inclusive and evidence-based approach.
- Ability of GAC to fulfill its tasks according to EU regulations and best practices.
- Awareness raising of GAC in a perspective of greater representativeness and cooperation within the international networks of accreditation bodies.