The Pakistan National Accreditation Council (PNAC) is the national agency for accreditation of conformity assessment bodies such as laboratories, certification bodies and inspection agencies. The TRTA/UNIDO interventions to strengthen PNAC included the following:
- Assessment of the structure and operations of PNAC and drawing up recommendations to strengthen its capabilities to achieve international recognition.
- Development of a Master Plan of PNAC outlining the capacity development needs of PNAC and areas of TRTA interventions.
- Capacity building in laboratory accreditation by conducting a series of technical and assessor courses in ISO 17025, where a pool of technical assessors in the priority areas of microbiology, chemical, textile, leather and electrical testing including metrology (calibration) laboratories were developed.
- Development of a pool of Pakistani laboratory assessors, from among those who passed the ISO 17025 Assessor Course examination, through attachments as observer trainees during the course of assessments of the Pakistani laboratories by the foreign Accreditation Body.
- Capacity building in accreditation of certification bodies through training of PNAC staff in ISO Guide 62 by UK Accreditation Services (UKAS). The training was targeted to enable PNAC to develop its own systems and practices for accreditation of certification bodies operating in Pakistan.
- Capacity building in accreditation of inspection bodies through training of PNAC staff in ISO/IEC 17020 at RVA in the Netherlands. The training at RVA enabled the acquisition of knowledge and skills in elaboration of technical documentation required for PNAC operations relating to accreditation of inspection bodies.
- Capacity building in management of National PT Scheme through training of PNAC staff at the Proficiency Testing Australia (PTA) in Australia. The scope of the training covered topics and practicals, which would be useful to PNAC in establishing and managing a National PT Scheme in Pakistan as per the requirements of ISO Guide 43.
The activities outlined above were designed to eventually lead PNAC towards international recognition of its accreditation operations through conclusion of Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs) with International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and International Accreditation Forum (IAF).