» What can be accredited?
UKAS assesses organisations against recognised standards that:
- Make professional judgement in processes of testing, inspection and certification.
- Implement processes that require highly professional skills crucial for making critical decisions (for example, policy making on trade issues, medical treatment, environmental impact, etc.).
- Assign values to products upon which results are being based (Reference Materials, calibration, Proficiency Testing) and which involves professional judgement and skill.
- Evaluate processes that are critical for customers and stakeholders who do not have the professional knowledge to evaluate them (for example, in the fields of medical testing, public health, public safety, environmental control, safety assessments, etc).
- Implement processes subject to strong competitive forces that a government or client (as a protector of the people) would like to formally oversee to ensure a ‘level playing field’.
Accreditation is the formal tool to provide a high degree of assurance that the organisations implementing these processes (activities or tasks) are competent. Outcomes and actual performance by accredited organisations over time are important to maintain accreditation.