Accreditation

Accreditation is a third party attestation related to a conformity assessment body conveying formal demonstration of its competence to carry out the tasks of conformity assessment. Accreditation is made available to different conformity assessment bodies namely Testing & Calibration Laboratories, Medical / Clinical Laboratories, Certification & Inspection Bodies and Bodies Operating Certification of Persons. Accreditation assures impartiality, credibility and transparency of conformity assessments.

 

What is accreditation?

Accreditation is an endorsement of an organization's competence, credibility, impartiality and integrity in carrying out its conformity assessment activities.

 

Accreditation Activity

The increasing demand on quality of products and services offered both in external and internal trade necessitates compliance with technical regulations, standards and other regulatory measures covering health, safety and quality. In regulatory systems, government authorities implement regulations covering approval of products and services for reasons of health, safety, environmental protection, fraud prevention or market fairness. In voluntary systems, different sectors of industry including services, establish conformity assessment and certification procedures aiming at achieving specified standards for products processes and systems thereby enabling market access, comparability and ensuring competition on equal terms. These systems apply to trade in goods and provision of services both within an economy as well as globally.

The provision of goods and services conforming to technical regulations (mandatory) or standards (voluntary) requires efficient procedures for assessment of conformity to relevant stipulated requirements. Conformity assessment activities that include inspection, testing and certification, for voluntary or mandatory systems, are carried out by Conformity Assessment Bodies (CAB's) having necessary competence to carry out such tasks. In such operations, both at domestic and global levels, there is an increasing demand for independent verification of CAB's for competence, impartiality and credibility. Such verifications are done by authoritative accreditation bodies that act impartially in relation to both CAB's and their clients. Accreditation by IACAB demonstrates the competence, impartiality and performance capability of the accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies.

 

What are the benefits of being accredited?

These are some of the key benefits of being accredited.

Building Trust
In the global trade, customers are becoming more demanding and seeking assurances on the products and services you provide them. By getting accreditation, your customers will have the confidence in the quality of products and services that you provide. This will enable you to build trust between you and your customer.

International Recognition
Through the various mutual recognition arrangements between accreditation bodies, overseas markets will accept your company more readily if they know you have been certified by a IACAB accredited certification body or accept your test results or inspections if you are an accredited laboratory or inspection body.

Minimizes Risk
Accredited organizations reduce the risk of providing unreliable test results, services and products, and are able to meet the customers' expectations.

Reduce Costs
Although accreditation comes at a cost, the cost savings resulting from being accredited will outweigh the cost of accreditation. Cost savings may result from improved productivity, reduced downtime, reduced re-testing, etc.

Demonstrate credibility
No organization will want to spend money on getting a report or certificate that has not been accredited by a competent body. A IACAB accredited organization is able to demonstrate competence hence credibility.

 

The general procedure for getting accreditation

Enquiry and Formal Application
Application forms are publicly available documents which can either be downloaded or collected from IACAB office. Duly filled application and all the supporting documents should be submitted to IACAB along with non refundable application fee. Applicants will be acknowledged further information/clarifications will be requested if neccessary.

Document and Record Review
Application and supporting documents submitted by the Client will be reviewed in order to verify compliance in accordance with the relevant Standard by a competent Lead Assessor appointed by IACAB and a detailed feedback report will be issued. Client shall take necessary corrective actions on the deficiencies indicated in the report within specified time period(two to six months) and submit to the IACAB.

Pre-Assessment
Pre-assessment is conducted by Lead assessor /Assessment team in order to verify whether documented procedures are in place. A detailed feedback report will be issued. Client shall take necessary corrective action on the deficiencies indicated in the report within specified time period (two to six months) and submit to the IACAB.

Initial Assessment
This is the final audit for the grant of accreditation. A team consisting IACAB assessor and/or technical experts will conduct the initial assessment. A detailed feedback report will be issued . Client shall take necessary corrective action on the deficiencies indicated in the report within specified time period(two to six months) and submit to the IACAB.

Submission of Corrective Actions
The client shall submit objective evidence for corrective actions taken before or not later than six months. After six months, a fresh application along with related documents shall be submitted to the IACAB. An additional fee will be charged for processing of applications. This is applicable to all stages where corrective actions are involved.

Recommendation by Assessment Team
The assessment team will make a recommendation to Accreditation Committee regarding Grant of accreditation.

Grant of Accreditation
If the Accreditation Committee is satisfied with the recommendations of the assessment team, the applicant will be granted accreditation with the approval of the Governing Council.

 

More Information

How long does it take to get IACAB Accreditation?
This would depend on a number of factors, such as the degree of an organization's compliance with requirements, complexity of scope of the accreditation applied for, availability of evidence and clearance of incidences of non-conformance highlighted during the assessment. A reasonable time frame is between two to six months.

What happens after getting accreditation?
If you are accredited, you will be awarded with an accreditation certificate which could be displayed in your premises. You will now also be able to make use of the IACAB Accreditation Mark and offer your conformity assessment services with confidence both nationally and worldwide. There will also be follow-up surveillance which consists of periodic assessments being carried out to ensure continued compliance to the the requirements and scope of accreditation. The accreditation will also require periodic renewal and the renewal period will depend on the terms and conditions of the accreditation scheme.

Misuse of IACAB Accreditation
If there are any inquires with regard to the use of IACAB accreditation or its accreditation mark contradictory to the IACAB rules and procedures for accreditation by any of the organizations, please inform them to the Director/CEO, IACAB.

Copyright @ 2022 Institute of Accredited Conformity & Assessment Board

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