Accreditation has a wide-reaching impact upon our daily lives. Aside from the importance of Management Systems standards, such as ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004 and ISO/IEC 27001:2005 on quality, environmental and information security management, it has a greater impact on the safety and security of the products that we buy.
Any product with a CE mark will have been through either a self-declaration process or been assessed by a Notified Body, which in turn must be accredited.
My experience as an Assessor within the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) has given me a valuable insight into the inter workings of the UK’s National Accreditation Body and, through my participation in the Peer Review process, of a large number of other national Accreditation Bodies across the globe.
It is rewarding to see that the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) has published a report, which sets out the detailed activity that took place in 2012 that was carried out as part of the peer evaluation process, to ensure that regulators and the business community can have confidence in the Arrangement.
It should be remembered that IAF Accreditation Body signatories invest significant effort and resource to maintain the integrity and consistency of the Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) through a peer evaluation process.
The purpose of the IAF MLA is to provide users in countries with Accreditation Bodies that are IAF MLA signatories, assurance that equivalent certification bodies in other countries operate to the same standard as those in their own country.
It is good to see that this report is freely available to promote greater understanding of the working of the IAF and its Accreditation Body signatories.
If you wish to understand more about the role of the IAF and its Accreditation Body signatories then a copy of the report can downloaded from http://bit.ly/1guMxWg