Cooperation in the private / public domain.
The cooperation with the business sector was already there from the establishment of the RvA in 1995 as a private foundation (and before that by its legal predecessors). Apart from a representative delegation of the business sector in supervisory bodies such as the Advisory Panel of Stakeholders and the User Council consultation structures have been set up with various organisations including Fenelab, NVCi, NEN Medical Laboratories Committee and external scheme owners.
The cooperation with the public sector (policy-makers and inspectorates) is in line with the revised Cabinet position on conformity assessment and accreditation, to pursue an integrated approach to the supervision of public interests. A more efficient organisation of supervision is in line with this, also to keep the supervision burden for companies as low as possible. A proper mutual information exchange forms a major part of this. Therefore more parties are expected to be willing to agree an information protocol with the RvA such as for instance in the middle of 2017 when one was signed with the NEa.
For many years the RvA has been cooperating with (external) scheme owner. External scheme owners are parties which are not themselves conformity assessment bodies (CABs). In some spheres of work the market and/or the public sector opted to have a centrally harmonised scheme developed and managed by an external scheme owner. The external scheme owner brings together the interested parties with regard to the subject of conformity assessment, so that there is support for the respective scheme in the market.
The scheme owner subsequently enters into agreements for the use of the scheme with one or more CABs. The purpose of an external scheme owner is usually to achieve a so-called ‘level playing field’ in a sector and to increase the harmonisation between the CABs.