The United Kingdom Accreditation Service is the sole national accreditation body recognised by government to assess, against internationally agreed standards, organisations that provide certification, testing, inspection and calibration services.
Accreditation by UKAS demonstrates the competence, impartiality and performance capability of these evaluators. UKAS is a non-profit-distributing private company, limited by guarantee. UKAS is independent of Government but is appointed as the national accreditation body by Accreditation Regulations 2009 (SI No 3155/2009) and the EU Regulation (EC) 765/2008 and operates under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government through the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.
UKAS is licensed by BIS to use and confer the national accreditation symbols (formerly national accreditation marks) which symbolise Government recognition of the accreditation process.
UKAS accreditation provides an assurance of the competence, impartiality and integrity of conformity assessment bodies. UKAS accredited certification, testing and calibration and inspection reduces the need for suppliers to be assessed by each of their customers. UKAS' involvement in international groups provides for mutual recognition which further reduces the need for multiple assessments of suppliers and as a consequence helps to reduce barriers to trade. It is therefore BIS policy to recommend the use of UKAS accredited conformity assessment services whenever this is an option.