Accreditation is a third party, impartial and independent process to assess that an organization is competent to perform specific tests, inspections, measurements and certifications. By using accredited services, businesses can demonstrate compliance with standards and regulations. Accreditation provides confidence in certificates and conformity attestations. It underpins quality of results by ensuring traceability, comparability, validity and commutability.
Accreditation operates in the public interest across all market sectors. It provides an attestation that accredited bodies offering testing, examination, calibration, certification, inspection and verification services have the technical competence and impartiality to check the conformity of products and services with the relevant standards and regulations.
Accreditation supports the market in facilitating the movement of goods and services where demand for quality and safety is growing. It offers a harmonized, transparent and sustainable approach which:
- helps fulfil legal requirements at reasonable costs
- enables innovation
- reduces the need for regulators to use their own resources
- builds consumers’ and businesses’ confidence.
Accreditation is the international stamp of approval that "tested once" means "accepted everywhere".
General principles on accreditation
Impartiality - in the field of accreditation, the impartiality rule requires that the Accreditation Body (AB) be impartial in making a decision on accreditation. It means that the it shall not have any conflict of interest with the body applying for accreditation, and that the AB shall not be subject to any other pressure of a commercial or financial nature
Non-profit-making principle - AB shall be non-profit-making and -distributing organizations in order to meet their formal obligation to act in the public interest. As such, accreditation must be operated under the following conditions:
- at national level, with a recognized mandate from the government
- with complete independence and impartiality
- with full accountability towards all interested parties, with no single interest or group of interests predominating
- as a non-profit-distributing service activity
- without any competition.