Confidence in the market place and in our public services is essential. Trust is placed in the products and services on offer often without a second thought by the customer, such are the regulations and standards against which products are manufactured and services provided.
There are many duties placed on government departments, local authorities and other agencies to ensure that trust is maintained. Whether it be health, water quality, food, consumer goods or transport safety, for example, the public sector provides the framework for the assurance that goods and services are safe and the environment we live in is clean and secure.
UKAS is already in collaboration with a range of government departments that are now developing schemes to either raise standards or implement new ones as a means of increasing public confidence. Particularly, UKAS can reduce the need for each government department to employ its own specialist assessment resource. Using the accredited route has the advantage of a single transparent and repeatable approach. Over time this should improve consistency, resulting in better risk management. At the same time it should eliminate the cost of reinventing the wheel, thus contributing to the drive for open and modern government.
Accreditation by UKAS can also limit the need for government to regulate industry and the professions. It provides an alternative means of ensuring the reliability of activities that have the potential to impact on public confidence or the national reputation. UKAS, where requested, assesses organisations and recommends to government their appointment as Notified Bodies as required by EU Directives and Regulations.
Companies big and small buy independent evaluations either through choice (to reduce the risk of product failure for example) or as a consequence of legal requirements (such as health and safety regulations). Most commonly these evaluations are calibration of equipment, product testing, inspection of equipment and certification of quality management systems.
Too many of Britain's companies run the risk of undermining their long-term success by purchasing independent evaluations that are not UKAS accredited.
"If a small business chooses to take the certification route we are strongly in favour that they select a certification body carrying UKAS accreditation."
Ian Handford, Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses
"It is important that those in the business community have a good awareness and understanding of the benefits that accreditation can offer and the services available from UKAS.
As we enter an era of increasingly rapid change, it is important for businesses to be able to demonstrate their products are fit for purpose. The CBI fully endorses the view that, for markets to function properly, purchasers must have confidence the standards are being met."
Lucy Findlay, Head of Enterprise, CBI
UKAS provides a range of brochures on the benefits of using UKAS accredited services. Please visit the UKAS Brochures Page for further information.