2017 P2 Conference Recap
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Highlights from the 2017 ACIL Policies and Practices Conference

The P2 Conference is a blended public affairs and business practices program that provides separate tracks for each laboratory discipline with kick-off and keynote addresses for all. This annual spring meeting has grown from its legacy as a policy focused event where members meet lawmakers on the Hill and discuss practices and strategy with peers. 2017’s meeting featured new collaborative sessions with government agencies who value ACIL members’ opinions and guidance on regulations and industry concerns

The relationships and plans that were forged at the P2 Conference in DC this past April will be shaping policy and projects in the coming years that affect the industry as a whole. We’re proud to announce that as a result of the open dialogue these in person meetings facilitate, several projects will be launching in partnership with the EPA, FAA, and FDA.

P2 Conference, ACIL


The conference’s opening breakfast featured key figures in laboratory testing, starting with IFIA’s Director General, Hanane Taidi. She spoke on emerging global opportunities, and presented new and insightful statistics about third party testing that will prove immediately useful research in marketing services to clients. Nicholas Wyatt, Tax Counsel to the Senate Finance Committee presented insight into how companies can best get their needs heard and how long-term government plans are formed and executed.

P2 Conference Speakers


Lunch was a bittersweet event, as we bid farewell and expressed our thanks to ACIL’s CEO of twelve years, Milton Bush. He delivered a passionate retirement speech, recounting the path his life has taken and his gratitude for both obstacles overcome and achievements won.

Milton Bush's retirement speech


Also in attendance were twelve staff members of the FDA, who joined members for lunch before settling into the afternoon working session with the FSS section.



The morning began with Jay Benforado and Lara Phelps from the EPA presenting on citizen science and why it’s a big deal to the future of the organization and science. They brought suggestions to the table on ways ACIL members could become partners for training, second-source validation, and curators of sources for reporting. The EPA is focused on reconnecting with citizens. Advancements in technology and communication can enable citizen science for great effect.



Greg Cline of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) presented on the imminent release of new regulations of landing strip tarmac construction. He sought out input and expertise from ACIL members and lead a discussion to obtain feedback and guidance before the legislation is finalized.



Hanane Taidi, IFIA Director General, and Roberta Tellese presented on safety nonconformities, the status of global testing rates and new efforts in investigating counterfeiting. George Tannahill from the FCC discussed the changes in requirements to become an internationally accredited testing lab. A2LA and NVLAP were the first to be recognized to assess other labs, there are a few more in the process. From NIST, Ramona Sarr and Gordon Gillerman presented on the scope of NIST and activities of the Standards Coordination group that consists of two main parts: NVLAP and other activities focused on promoting standards and conformity assessment to agencies.



Twelve representatives from the FDA attended the ILI summit meeting. One of the major items ACIL pushed for was for the 2009 Guidance Document to be released and enforced by the agency. This lead to the discussion of building a public relations narrative based on real numbers to provide guidance for future surveillance sampling pilot programs. The first pilot program will entail the FDA and members working together to test grains used for brewing alcohol.

We will continue to nurture ACIL’s connection with the agency — building trust through projects and in person meetings like P2 will enable the FDA to be comfortable with giving ACIL members business and implementing effective policies.

ACIL visiting the FDA


This long term planning meeting included discussions on how to refine and enhance the ACIL "value proposition," strategies for effective public and government communications, and a restructure of the board election process. It was agreed that a greater return would be seen on advocating for issues over specific sections. A plan was put in place to collect data that tells the story on why independent testing is valuable to public safety and compelling proof for speaking to small businesses that can’t afford to build their own testing capabilities.