Accreditation - what it is and what role it plays

Generally, the term accreditation means a procedure whereby an authorised body issues a formal statement that an organisation or person is competent to carry out specific tasks. It involves an inspection of the conduct and quality of services performed by the accredited person or organization. In Poland, the Polish Centre for Accreditation is an authorized body accrediting laboratories and various business entities and inspection institutions. According to ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation is "attestation by a third party concerning the conformity assessment unit, serving to formally demonstrate its competence to perform specific conformity assessment tasks".

Accreditation serves to build and strengthen confidence in the results of calibrations, tests and inspections, certified products and services, qualifications of certified persons and certified management systems.

Principles of accreditation are contained in international standards and guidelines that specify requirements for both accreditation bodies and conformity assessment bodies subject to accreditation. Obtaining accreditation means that accredited bodies have been assessed against those standards and guidelines

The benefits of accreditation for consumers:

  • accreditation increases the credibility of product certification results
  • accreditation influences the high quality of products and services and competence of staff
  • thanks to accreditation, reliable and precise results of analyses and tests in the areas related to safety, health and environment (e.g. medical analyses, mechanical tests, chemical tests) are possible
  • accredited entities provide reliable information on the basis of which decisions can be taken, e.g. in the field of environmental protection
  • accreditation contributes to the elimination of barriers to trade through mutual recognition of conformity assessment procedures (free international trade is a stimulator of economic growth).

The benefits of accreditation for industry:

  • Accreditation is an essential tool in decision making and risk management. Organizations can save time and money by choosing an accredited and therefore competent conformity assessment service provider
  • accreditation can serve as a means of access to export markets in Europe and worldwide - following the principle "tested or certified once - accepted everywhere"
  • accreditation ensures precise measurement and testing according to best practice, reduces the number of defective products, lowers inspection and production costs and enables the implementation of innovative solutions
  • accreditation reduces risk in business relationships.

3 .
PCA document DA-05 "Policy on participation in proficiency testing", 5th edition of 17.11.11 6.
PCA document DAB-07 "Accreditation of testing laboratories. Detailed requirements", 9th edition 10.09.12 r.
ElkomLab document "Technical procedure T6", 2nd edition from 15.04.2013.