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Accreditation Standards

This page is about developments in the British, European and international standards that organisations accredited by UKAS have to meet. Copies of Standards can be obtained from national Standards bodies (in the UK, BSI Tel: 0845 086 9001).

Please review more information about UKAS accredited certification bodies.

For information about organisations registered to ISO 9000 and ISO 14000, consult the QA Register.

For information about the bodies accredited by UKAS, fax UKAS Information and Helpline on +44 (0)20 8917 8500 or email

Current Status of Accreditation Standards

European and International Standards

Accreditation Guidance
(*see Note)

ISO/IEC 17011:2004
Conformity assessment General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies

ISO/IEC 17025:2005
General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories


ISO 15189:2012

Medical Laboratories - Requirements for quality and competence

ISO/IEC 17020:2012
Conformity assessment - Requirements for the operation of various types of bodies performing inspection

ILAC P15:2014


ISO/IEC Guide 65:1996 / EN 45011:1998** (ISO/IEC 17065:2012)
General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems

IAF GD5:2006 

ISO 14065:2013
Greenhouse gases -- Requirements for greenhouse gas validation and verification bodies for use in accreditation or other forms of recognition

IAF MD 6:2014

ISO/IEC 17024:2012
General requirements for bodies operating certification of persons


ISO/IEC 17043:2010

Conformity Assessment - General requirements for proficiency testing


ISO/IEC 17021:2011** (ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015) 
Conformity assessment - Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems

ISO Guide 34:2009
General requirements for competence of reference material producers


ISO 15195: 2003 (In conjunction with ISO/IEC 17025:2005)
Laboratory medicine - Requirements for reference measurement laboratories


available on relevant organisation's website:




**These standards have recently been revised and reissued by ISO & IEC and UKAS are in the process of implementing transition arrangements.


The accreditation criteria developed in international standards constitute broad requirements. To ensure consistent implementation, more detailed guidelines are necessary. These are developed by accreditation bodies through international networks:

In the creation of these guidelines, accreditation bodies do not impose extra requirements on the market. The requirements are all contained in the accreditation standards. The purpose of guidelines is to fill out these requirements with the necessary details for consistent assessment. They are also used to point to solutions as to how accredited bodies can meet the requirements. These solutions cannot be made mandatory. The guidelines have to be written in such a way that accredited bodies are given the latitude to demonstrate when they meet the fundamental requirements of the standards by other means.

The production of guidelines is a basic task of the international accreditation networks. To make the services of accredited bodies accepted internationally, the accreditation bodies use these networks to develop consistent practice and to evaluate each other's performance.

The linchpin of this activity is the development of agreed guidelines, and UKAS currently participates in various Committees within EA, IAF and ILAC. We will use these positions to ensure complementary work is pursued through the three networks eliminating any duplication of effort. We are actively developing strategies for the necessary work programmes.

The Guidelines Committees are open committees, and accreditation bodies welcome the participation of our stakeholders in the development process. In doing this, we recognise that we do not assemble the full market representation that is present in the development of the requirements documents.

In UK we alert interested parties, starting with the UKAS Policy Advisory Forum, to developments so as to attract input. We have been successful in working with the representatives of our direct customers, but recognise that this level of detail is often not identifiable as a high priority by industry. Nevertheless, we aim to alert industry to areas where the direct input to balance the views of the 'professionals' is desirable. A good example of this has been the development of guidelines for the accreditation of certification bodies in the field of environmental management systems (EMS). Without the direct input of people with environmental responsibility in companies, the accreditation body input would have been much the poorer.

In all this work, UKAS is taking the lead in Europe and the world. We look to our stakeholders to tell us the specific areas where we can use this position to help achieve your goals.