The Role of Accreditation in Quality Infrastructure

  • Beginner 2, Course 4.3

Of the three core elements of QI, accreditation is arguably the most recent phenomenon. According to the ISO 17000:2020 Conformity assessment: Vocabulary and general principles, accreditation is defined as ‘’a third-party attestation related to a conformity assessment body, conveying formal demonstration of its competence, impartiality, and consistent operation in performing specific conformity assessment activities’’. Additionally, attestation is defined as ‘’the issue of a statement, based on a decision, that fulfilment of specified requirements has been demonstrated’’. 3 Considering conformity assessment, ''accreditation as such is applicable in the case of laboratories, inspection bodies, certification bodies, validation and verification bodies, and bodies that certify personnel''. 4 Accordingly, the use of the international standards
developed by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 17000 series (Conformity Assessment) have become imperative, but national standards (not harmonised with the ISO/IEC 17000 series) are still used in some countries.

After completing this module, you should be able to:

  1. Understand that two key international organisations for accreditation are the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and both have the aim of facilitating international trade;
  2. Understand that Regional Accreditation Bodies (RABs) have been established in some regions as the ones that provide accreditation services at the regional level;
  3. Understand that the European co-operation for Accreditation (EA) has been officially appointed by the EC as the European organisation for the accreditation;
  4. Understand that member states may establish National Accreditation Focal Points (NAFPs) to be liaison mechanisms between the RAB and entities wishing to be accredited; and 
  5. Understand that National Accreditation Bodies (NABs) offer accreditation services mostly within their countries, although some operate outside the national borders, as well.
B2 C4.3
Beginner 2
Training Courses
University of Belgrade in Serbia
Biljana Tosic