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Accreditation is the process in which certification of competency, authority, or credibility is presented.

Organizations that issue credentials or certify third parties against official standards are themselves formally accredited by accreditation bodies (such as UKAS); hence they are sometimes known as "accredited certification bodies".[1] The accreditation process ensures that their certification practices are acceptable, typically meaning that they are competent to test and certify third parties, behave ethically and employ suitable quality assurance.

Fields that involve accreditation[edit]

Accreditation processes are used in a wide variety of fields:

See also[edit]

Accreditation standards[edit]

Accreditation bodies operate according to ISO/IEC 17011.[2] Accredited entities in specific sectors must provide evidence to the accreditation body that they conform to other standards in the same series:

  • BS EN ISO/IEC 17020: "General criteria for the operation of various types of bodies performing inspection" (2012)
  • BS EN ISO/IEC 17021: "Conformity assessment. Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems" (2011)
  • BS EN ISO/IEC 17024: "Conformity Assessment. General requirements for bodies operating certification of persons" (2012)
  • BS EN ISO/IEC 17025: "General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories" (2005)

References[edit]

  1. ^ USDA ISO Guide 65 Program Accreditation for Certification Bodies, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service, August 9, 2007
  2. ^ BS EN ISO/IEC 17011: "Conformity assessment. General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies" (2004).

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