Accreditation

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Accreditation is a third-party attestation related to a conformity assessment body (such as certification body, inspection body or laboratory) conveying formal demonstration of its competence to carry out specific conformity assessment tasks (such as certification, inspection and testing).

Contents

An authoritative body that performs accreditation is called an 'accreditation body'. The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) provide international recognitions to accreditation bodies. There are many internationally-recognized accreditation bodies approved by the IAF and ILAC.

The Emirates International Accreditation Centre (EIAC) is the largest accreditation body in Middle East region, whereas in South Asia the Pakistan National Accreditation Council (PNAC) and Quality Council of India (QCI) are the largest. In East Asia, the China National Accreditation Board is the largest, while the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) is the largest in Europe. The National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) and the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ) being the largest in the Oceania region, with the South African National Accreditation System being the largest in Africa.

For most of the accreditation schemes, international standards issued by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) are used.

Fields involved

Accreditation processes are used in a wide variety of fields:

Accreditation standards

Many accreditation bodies, such as the UKAS, EIAC, EGAC, PNAC, IAS, operate according to processes developed by the ISO as specified in ISO/IEC 17011. [1] Accredited entities in specific sectors must provide evidence to the accreditation body that they conform to other standards in the same series:

See also

International agencies
National agencies

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ISO/IEC 17025General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories is the main ISO standard used by testing and calibration laboratories. In most countries, ISO/IEC 17025 is the standard for which most labs must hold accreditation in order to be deemed technically competent. In many cases, suppliers and regulatory authorities will not accept test or calibration results from a lab that is not accredited. Originally known as ISO/IEC Guide 25, ISO/IEC 17025 was initially issued by the International Organization for Standardization in 1999. There are many commonalities with the ISO 9000 standard, but ISO/IEC 17025 is more specific in requirements for competence and applies directly to those organizations that produce testing and calibration results and is based on somewhat more technical principles.. Laboratories use ISO/IEC 17025 to implement a quality system aimed at improving their ability to consistently produce valid results. It is also the basis for accreditation from an accreditation body.

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References

  1. "ISO/IEC 17011:2017 Conformity assessment — Requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies". International Organization for Standardization . 2017.

Asia: https://eiac.gov.ae/ https://www.cnas.org.cn/ http://www.pnac.gov.pk/

Americas

Europe