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What is accreditation?

Accreditation determines the technical competence and integrity of organisations offering conformity assessment services such as testing, certification, inspection and calibration. Find out more about accreditation.

This short video shows the impact that accreditation has on our everyday lives.

How can accreditation help small businesses?

If your business requires the services of certification bodies, testing or calibration laboratories, or inspection bodies, using a UKAS-accredited supplier for these evaluation services (also known as conformity assessment services) is an essential tool for decision-making and risk management.

Organisations can save time and money by selecting an accredited and therefore competent supplier. Accredited testing, inspection and certification carried out in compliance with best practices can limit product failure and down time, and control manufacturing costs.

Using accredited services can:

  • de-risk your procurement by taking the guesswork out of choosing an evaluation body
  • open up new business opportunities as accreditation is specified by procurement officials
  • demonstrate due diligence in the event of legal action
  • help with knowledge transfer and product development since accredited evaluation bodies can be a good source of impartial advice

A Guide for Small Businesses seeking evaluation services is available here

SME guide

How to find a suitable accredited organisation?

A live directory of all UKAS organisations can be searched here.

A number of organisations in the UK provide non-accredited certification. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy recommends on its website that UK businesses, requiring certification services to source such services from certification bodies accredited by UKAS.

Gov.uk

Further guidance is available on the Chartered Quality Institute (CQI) website.

Supporting materials:

Why leave your certification to chance?

Who is doing your calibration work?

Do your inspection services meet your requirements?

Is the laboratory you commission for your testing technically competent?

 

How can I become accredited?

The majority of UKAS accredited organisations are small businesses. Gaining accreditation sets you apart from the competition, and enables you to compete with larger organisations. It will open doors to new markets where accreditation is a ‘passport to trade’, and for the bottom line, it can deliver efficiencies and improve profit. The Route to Accreditation will guide you through the process.

A survey was carried out in 2016, to capture feedback on the value of accreditation for conformity assessment bodies that have stable scopes in established technical sectors. It confirmed that these businesses derive both internal and external commercial benefit from their accredited status:

  • 93% of respondents agree that accreditation provides confidence to their customers and stakeholders
  • 76% agree that accreditation differentiates them from their competitors
  • 85% agree that accreditation improves the quality and validity of their work
  • 71% agree that accreditation helps them to win new or maintain existing business

The value of accreditation