The ISO CASCO Plenary is the annual meeting of the ISO committee on conformity assessment. The Plenary brings together the ISO member National Standards Bodies and liaison organisations, such as accreditation bodies and certification body associations.
The 2019 Plenary is hosted by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), the Kenyan National Standards Body.
ISO states the CASCO’s aims as:
- ‘To study means of assessing the conformity of products, processes, services and management systems to appropriate standards or other technical specifications.
- To prepare international guides and International Standards relating to the practice of testing, inspection and certification of products, processes and services, and to the assessment of management systems, testing laboratories, inspection bodies, certification bodies, accreditation bodies and their operation and acceptance.
- To promote mutual recognition and acceptance of national and regional conformity assessment systems, and the appropriate use of International Standards for testing, inspection, certification, assessment and related purposes.’
The Plenary looks to draw together the organisations responsible for delivering and benefiting from these aims.
IIOA also actively participates in other CASCO groups with the objectives of understanding the key future activities and contributing to these vital activities aimed at building a more robust certification system. These CASCO groups are:
- Chairman’s Policy and Coordination Group which coordinates the technical work of CASCO and assists the CASCO Chair in identifying strategic conformity assessment issues.
- Strategic Alliance and Regulatory Group which provides a forum for industry sectors and regulators to interact with CASCO.
Additionally in 2019, ISO are hosting a workshop on market surveillance. AS ISO states, ‘Market surveillance is a crucial policy tool that protects the health of consumers and the safety of workers by ensuring product and service quality. What are the key challenges faced today by economies in Africa and other regions? What are the ingredients of an effective market surveillance system and how ISO standards and conformity assessment can help?’