With an increase in specified standards has come a growth in the number of organisations whose business it is to check conformity and compliance with these standards by providing services such as testing, inspection, calibration and certification. These evaluating organisations may be laboratories, inspection bodies, certification bodies or other types of organisation.
Accreditation is a means of assessing, in the public interest, the technical competence and integrity of the organisations offering these kinds of evaluation services. Accreditation, with its many potential benefits for the quality of goods and in the provision of services throughout the supply chain, is underpinning practical applications of an increasingly wide range of activities across all sectors of the economy, from fishing to forestry, construction to communications.
More and more businesses are voluntarily choosing to be accredited as they recognise the internal efficiencies that it brings and the opportunities to demonstrate best practice.