Accreditation is the independent evaluation of conformity assessment bodies against recognised standards to ensure their impartiality and competency in carrying conformity assessment activities, such as testing, calibration, inspection and certification.
The accreditation programmes relevant to regulators would be those that are related to health, safety, and the environment. All countries have regulations related to safety of goods and services. There are also requirements regarding environmental impact, from recycling to energy consumption.
SAC is a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) Signatory to various international organisations including ILAC, IAF, APAC. Countries which are signatories of the MRA recognise that their partners’ conformity assessment bodies operate in an equivalent way and that they deliver equivalent accreditations, providing the same level of competence and confidence.
For more information about MRA, please click here.
Why Use Accredited CABs?
Because government bodies and regulations constantly have to make informed decisions on vital issues such as public welfare, environmental protection, development of new regulations and requirements, as well as allotment of resources, they must have confidence in the data generated by the laboratories that carry out testing and measurement of calibration in these specific fields. This is where an accredited laboratory comes in to help establish this confidence.
An accreditation body conducts a thorough evaluation of a CAB in its practises, staff and management. CABs are evaluated against international standards such as the ISO/IEC 17020, 17021, 17025, Guide 65 and so on. Accredited CABs are regularly re-examined to ensure continual compliance with the accreditation requirements, so that they maintain a high standard of technical expertise and competency.
Additionally, accreditation helps to improve efficiency by eliminating the need for re-testing and re-sampling of goods and services. This is done through SAC’s independent assessment of CABs, which provides objective assurance that that they have met applicable standards.
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The accreditation schemes that SAC operates are Management Systems Certification Bodies, Inspection Bodies, Product Certification Bodies, Verification & Validation Bodies, Calibration and Testing Laboratories, Proficiency Testing Providers as well as Good Laboratory Practice. Each scheme offers a specific set of capabilities, and they are altogether designed to accommodate the different products and services currently in the market.