IAF 25th Anniversary



IAF was first formed in Houston, USA on 28 January 1993. It was established with the aim of facilitating international trade by developing equivalent accreditation systems for conformity assessment so that products, processes, and services certified in one region or country could be accepted in others.


  • In 1995 IAF became a fully operational organization when the IAF Memorandum of Understanding was signed by 9 Accreditation Bodies in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • The first IAF Multilateral Recognition Arrangement, for Quality Management System Certification, became operational on 22 January 1998 when 13 Accreditation Body Members signed the Arrangement at the 11th IAF Plenary meeting in Guangzhou, China.
  • IAF was legally incorporated on 27 September 1998 in the State of Delaware, USA.
  • In 2001 IAF and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) began formalising their cooperation by holding their first combined General Assembly in Kyoto, Japan.
  • The IAF Multilateral Recognition Arrangements for Environmental Management System Certification and Product Certification became operational on 9 October 2004 at the 18th IAF Annual Meeting held in Cape Town, South Africa.
  • The current structure of the IAF MLA, i.e. one MLA based on ISO/IEC 17011 with Main Scopes and Sub-Scopes, came into effect on 22 December 2009.
  • A new procedure for processing IAF MLA Sub-Scope extensions in a more efficient manner was launched on 05 April 2018.

The number of IAF Members now totals 106, with 81 Accreditation Body Members, 19 Association Members, and 6 Regional Accreditation Group Members. The IAF MLA now has 68 Accreditation Body signatories and 5 Recognized Regional Accreditation Groups with 4 main scopes and 9 sub-scopes.

As IAF celebrates 25 years of growth and success, IAF is also looking forward to continuing to develop and support trade, regulators and the health and environment in the general community through accreditation, with goals such as launching the IAF Database of Accredited Management System Certifications.