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Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection (Industry Division)

MAURITAS


The Mauritius Accreditation Service (MAURITAS)
The Mauritius Accreditation Service (MAURITAS) has been established as a department within the Ministry of Industry, Small and Medium Enterprises, Commerce and Cooperatives, following the adoption of the MAURITIUS Accreditation Service Act by the National Assembly in December 1998. The aim of MAURITAS is to provide accreditation services to testing/calibration laboratories; inspection bodies; and certification bodies operating certification of products, personnel, quality systems and environmental management systems. Laboratories, inspection bodies and certification bodies are also termed conformity assessment bodies since their main function is to determine conformity to standards and specifications.
Any laboratory wishing to achieve an accredited status has to demonstrate that it complies with ISO/IEC 17025 international standard. MAURITAS is responsible for checking the above compliance through its technical staff and assessors who are fully familiar with the requirements of the ISO/IEC 17025 standard.
Accreditation is open to laboratories undertaking testing and/or calibration, whether it is in the private sector or in the public sector.
MAURITAS will operate laboratory accreditation programmes in a number of in a number of testing fields
* Acoustical
* Health and Hygiene Testing
* Biological
* Mechanical
* Chemical
* Medical
* Construction Materials Testing
* Non-Destructive Testing
* Electrical
* Occupational
* Environmental

* Textiles and garments testing
* Food Testing
* Veterinary
* Forensic
and a number of calibration fields including:
* Acoustics
* Pressure
* Dimensional calibration
* Thermal calibration
* Electrical calibration
* Time and frequency
* Flow
* Temperature
* Force/hardness
* Viscosity
* Humidity
* Volume
* Mass
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The Accreditation Process
1. Enquiry to MAURITAS
2. MAURITAS provides application form and other documents
3. Laboratory Prepares manual as per ISO/IEC 17025
4. Laboratory submits application form and quality manual
5. Document review by MAURITAS
6. Decision on Accreditation
7. Surveillance visit/re-assessment after 4 years


Advisory Council
Section 5 of the Mauritius Accreditation Service Act (1998) provides for the setting up of the MAURITAS Advisory Council (MAC) with the main objective of spearheading accreditation in the country.
Duties of the Council
The Council shall
(a) Advise the Minister on all matters relating to the functions of MAURITAS and any specific matter relating to accreditation which may be referred to it by the Minister;
(b) Consider policy issues relating to accreditation raised by stakeholders, and
(c) Respond to requests from the Director for advice on specific issues
The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for Medical Testing was set up in January 2001 under Section 7 of the MAURITAS Act. The first meeting was held on the 28th March 2001 and the Committee is still operational
Objectives
The objectives of the TAC for Medical Testing are to
(i) prepare guidelines for the interpretation of ISO/IEC 17025 for the medical sector,
(ii) take cognizance of technical criteria established in other countries in the field of medical testing, and
(iii) consult other stakeholders when required.

Output
The TAC has established a guidance document for testing in the medical sector. The guidance document will be useful for both medical testing laboratories and assessors.


International Cooperation
MAURITAS aims at becoming internationally recognised through the signatory status to the multilateral mutual recognition agreements of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF)
MAURITAS has adopted a special approach for its operationalisation. The approach involves twinning with foreign national accreditation bodies of international repute for building capacity and to tap foreign technical expertise in the field of accreditation. The twinning agreement includes short term consultancies on specific technical issues, attachment training for MAURITAS staff, training for accreditation stakeholders and accreditation of laboratories and certification bodies.
Twinning
In line with its Action Plan for the period 2004-2007, MAURITAS has signed a twinning agreement in December 2004 with :
(i) the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) for laboratory accreditation
(ii) The Norwegian Accreditation (NA) for certification body accreditation.
It is anticipated that under the twinning agreement, accreditation will be granted to 16 laboratories and 2 certification bodies during the two years duration of the twinning agreement.
Twinning with Norwegian Accreditation
MAURITAS is obtaining the assistance from Norwegian Accreditation (NA) for the establishment of the accreditation system for certification body accreditation. The policy, procedures and guidance documents as well as the regulations for certification body accreditation submitted by NA shall be finalised shortly by MAURITAS. Under the twinning project, one MAURITAS staff has benefited an attachment training at Norwegian Accreditation and has observed two assessments at two different certification bodies.


FAQ
What is accreditation?
Accreditation is defined as the procedure by which an authoritative body gives formal recognition that a body or person is competent to carry out specific tasks. The key words in the process of accreditation are “authoritative”, “formal recognition” and “competent”.
MAURITAS is the sole national authority in Mauritius for granting accreditation to conformity assessment bodies involved in calibration, testing, inspection and certification. Such bodies may be engaged in conformity assessment for the benefit of Government, business and consumers at large either in the voluntary or regulatory sector. MAURITAS fulfils this function by assessing conformity assessment bodies to determine whether they are technically competent. Thus, through accreditation MAURITAS builds and maintains confidence for the benefit of all interested parties.
Why accreditation?
At the international level, the purpose of Accreditation is to remove technical barriers to trade by ensuring that the results of conformity assessment are accepted and recognised among trading partners. Accreditation also improves the quality and reliability of services provided to local users of conformity assessment bodies and is thus important at the national level in the health, safety and environment of the society.
Is MAURITAS accreditation recognised internationally?
In order to be able to grant accreditation, MAURITAS must itself comply with the international standards ISO/IEC 17011 for laboratory accreditation and for certification body accreditation.
The conformity assessment bodies for their part must also comply with international standards ISO/IEC 17025 (laboratory) and ISO/IEC Guide 62 and 66 (certification body) in order to get accredited.
By working with international standards, MAURITAS ensures that the conformity assessment bodies are assessed against criteria that is used world-wide
What is the difference between Accreditation and Certification?
Certification is proof of compliance of the system or product with relevant standards, whereas Accreditation is proof of competence of the organisation and its personnel to perform specified tasks.
What is the difference between the functions of MAURITAS and those of the Mauritius Standards Bureau?
The Mauritius Standards Bureau (MSB) is the national standards body involved in the development of Mauritian Standards. It operates a number of testing and calibration laboratories and is involved in the certification of systems and products
MAURITAS is the sole national authority for granting accreditation to certification bodies operating Quality Management System (QMS), Environmental Management System, product certification and accreditation of laboratories.
Contacts
You may contact the following MAURITAS Staff Members on the address, telephone numbers, fax number and e-mail given below:
The Acting Director
Mauritius Accreditation Service (MAURITAS)
5th Floor, Air Mauritius Centre
John Kennedy Street., Port Louis
Mauritius
( (230) 208 1690
7(230) 210- 6101

mauritas@mail.gov.mu
The Assistant Accreditation Manager (Laboratories)
Mauritius Accreditation Service (MAURITAS)
5th Floor, Air Mauritius Centre
John Kennedy Street., Port Louis
Mauritius
( (230) 210 71 00 Ext 259
7(230) 210- 6101

rngopee@mail.gov.mu
The Assistant Accreditation Manager (Certification Bodies)
Mauritius Accreditation Service (MAURITAS)
5th Floor, Air Mauritius Centre
John Kennedy Street., Port Louis
Mauritius
( (230) 210 71 00 Ext 291
7(230) 210- 6101

cbheekhun@mail.gov.mu