ISO / IEC 17000:2006 accreditation is third party attestation of a conformity assessment body to formally demonstrate its competence to perform specific conformity assessment tasks. Therefore, accreditation is the formal recognition by the authorized accreditation body of the competencies of organizations operating under a given the area that is subject to conformity assessment, i.e. certification and inspection bodies, also laboratories designated for performing specific activities.
The main purpose of accreditation is to build and strengthen trust in the results of tests, calibrations or inspections, certified products and services, as well as certified management systems, as well as qualifications of certified persons.
The principles on which the accreditation is based are included in international standards and guidelines. They contain information for both accreditation and accredited bodies.
Accreditation body conducts supervision and accreditation processes for such conformity assessment bodies, such as:
- research laboratory
- calibration laboratory
- product certification bodies
- person certification bodies
- inspection units
- EMAS verifiers
- GHG verifiers
- organizers of proficiency tests
The accreditation process
The accreditation process always consists of the following:
- documentation review,
- the assessment on the spot is carried out at the seat of the entity, as well as at all establishments where one or more activities are conducted,
- observations of services that are conducted in real conditions.
Accreditation is a formal order for PCA to carry out the accreditation process and includes an obligation for the applicant to pay the fee.
Benefits of accreditation
- proof of operation in accordance with best practice,
- an important argument in the selection of suppliers both on the domestic and international market,
- recognition of certificates, test reports, calibration certificates and reports on inspections carried out by institutions in signatory countries (MLA, MRA), which were issued by PCA accredited certification bodies, inspection bodies and laboratories.
- increase in the reliability of certified products,
- a qualitative increase in products and services,
- increased staff competence,
- elimination of barriers to trade through mutual recognition of conformity assessment procedures,
- receiving reliable and precise results of analyzes and research in areas related to safety, health and the environment.
For the government:
- a guarantee of public confidence in credible activities that affect health, safety and the environment,
- technical assistance to state authorities during the assessment of bodies subject to notification. This assistance is expressed through the verification of the technical competence of the unit, its independence, impartiality, as well as during regular monitoring, and periodic assessments during the supervision of management systems.
- risk reduction in business relations,
- ensuring precision of measurements and tests carried out in accordance with best practice, reduction of defective products, reduction of inspection and production costs, as well as the possibility of introducing innovative solutions,
- opening of Europe and world markets,
- an irreplaceable tool in the decision-making and management process.
- Eaton, J. S. (2006). An Overview of US Accreditation. Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
- Schwarz, S., & Westerheijden, D. F. (2004). Accreditation in the framework of evaluation activities: A comparative study in the European higher education area. In Accreditation and evaluation in the European higher education area (pp. 1-41). Springer, Dordrecht.
- Balci, O. (1997, December). Verification validation and accreditation of simulation models. In Proceedings of the 29th conference on Winter simulation (pp. 135-141). IEEE Computer Society.