Accreditation: Accreditation is the formal recognition by an accreditation authority to the technical and organisational competence of a conformity assessment body to carry out a specific service in accordance to the standards and technical regulations as described in their scope of accreditation.
Certification is the procedure by which a third party gives written assurance that a product, process, system or person conforms to specified requirements.
UKAS accredited Certification Bodies (CBs) can be recognised by the use of the royal crown in their accreditation mark. An up to date list of UKAS accredited certification bodies can be found on our website: Certification Bodies
UKAS is the national signatory, along with other nationally recognised accreditation bodies world-wide, to multilateral agreements for the purposes of mutual recognition through the European Co-operation for Accreditation (EA), the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation (ILAC). Those bodies that are signatory to these agreements are deemed to be equivalent having undergone stringent peer evaluations.
If you have a certificate from a body which is not UKAS accredited but is accredited by another Accreditation Body, then you may wish to check to see if it is a signatory to one of the above multi-lateral agreements.
If your certificate is from a body that is a signatory to one of the above multi-lateral agreements, then the certificate you have is deemed equivalent to one issued by a UKAS-accredited body and the certificate should be recognised in those countries whose national accreditation bodies are signatory to the EA, IAF & ILAC multilateral agreements.
The QA Register is the most likely place to find out whether a company has ISO 9001 certification, and their website is maintained by the Stationery Office. However, please note that it is voluntary whether an organisation with ISO 9001 certification chooses to be listed on this register, and you will need to be a subscriber in order to access that part of the site. Follow this link to the QA Register. The certificate can also be checked by contacting the certification body that issued the certificate. UKAS does not maintain records of ISO 9001 certificates.
The responsibility for the compilation and publication of the QA Register was devolved to the Stationery Office by DTI in 1996. Only those companies that have certification from UKAS-accredited CBs are eligible to be included in the Register. UKAS is unable to become involved in the commercial decisions taken by the Stationery Office with regard to the publication of the QA Register. Follow this link to the Stationery Office.
ISO 9001:2008 is a certification standard, rather than an accreditation standard, and UKAS does not carry out assessments to this standard itself, but assesses and accredits Certification Bodies (for a defined scope of accreditation, i.e. relating to specific areas of industry) so that they may then go out and certify organisations to ISO 9001.
Follow this link to the Certification Body Directory on the UKAS website.
The following link will help you with background to the ISO 9001 standard and also how to select a Certification Body:
UKAS is aware of the existence of unaccredited certification bodies offering ISO 9001 certification. However it is not mandatory for certification bodies to seek UKAS accreditation – so in short; this is legal.
UKAS is unable to comment on the way in which unaccredited certification bodies carry out their certification activities since UKAS has not assessed or accredited these bodies.
UKAS accredited CBs are required to meet internationally agreed criteria (such as ISO Guide 62) and are, therefore, not allowed to offer consultancy, assessment and certification as a "one-stop shop" package. They are also required to carry out a contract review with their potential clients to ensure that they are able to supply the certification that is required by them.
Only UKAS accredited CBs and their certificated organisations are allowed to make use of the relevant UKAS accreditation marks incorporating the tick and royal crown.
Some UKAS accredited certification bodies (not just BSI) do operate accredited product certification schemes for a variety of products.
In response to any complaints that UKAS receives concerning the activities of a UKAS-accredited CB's ISO 9001 certified company, advice is given to make use of the formal complaints procedure that the certified company is required to have in place.
If you believe claims such as "working towards ISO 9001 certification” to be bogus you should report this to the local trading standards office for investigation and action where necessary. Follow this link to Trading Standards.
UKAS, and CBs that UKAS has accredited, are unable to provide information regarding applicants until the application process has reached fruition due to reasons of commercial confidentiality.
If the certificate is issued under the laboratory's scope of accreditation then the certificate should be recognised in those countries whose national accreditation bodies are signatory to the EA & ILAC multilateral agreement.
Until we receive an application for accreditation which details the size of your operation it is very difficult to provide you with an accurate estimate as to what it will cost you to become UKAS-accredited. However, the current application fee and daily rates can be found via this link to our Standard Terms of Business. Please note all assessment fees are effort related; i.e. - dependent on the complexity of scope of accreditation being sought. These fees include not just the time the assessment team spend at your site but also office time. Travel and subsistence is charged at cost.
We aim for a lead-in time of approximately three months to arrange the first visit to your organisation, with the exception of applications for accreditation for Medical Laboratories (for ISO 15189), which currently have a lead-in time of approximately six months following receipt of application. However, there are a number of aspects that impact on the timescale for the UKAS application/assessment process e.g. a company's state of readiness to be assessed, response times to improvement actions raised, size/complexity of scope, availability of key assessment personnel etc.
With this in mind, and, depending on the organisation being assessed we would say that the process could realistically take between 6-8 months from application to accreditation For Medical Laboratories this may take a little longer given the current lead-in time for the first visit after application.
For further details please view the Route to Accreditation document.
No. UKAS does not play any part in the generation of product conformity requirements or technical regulations. A good place to start to obtain this information is from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills website.
Notification is granted by the relevant government department for that particular directive, e.g. - BIS, DCLG, MHRA, & HSE. Current lists of Notified Bodies may be obtained direct from the relevant government body, often via their website that will also give information on the individual directives. See "Contacts and Links".
Currently there are no UKAS accredited Certification Bodies for personnel certification schemes relating to asbestos surveys. Individuals that are sole traders are not precluded from seeking accreditation as an organisation in accordance with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17020 (BS EN 45004).
There are a number of guidance documents on applying for UKAS accreditation available through the Application Forms page of the UKAS website.
Specific guidance for such activities is contained within the UKAS Laboratory guidance publication, LAB 30, whilst there is general guidance available through the Application Forms page of the UKAS website.
UKAS does not offer such training courses, but the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) does, and should be contacted regarding this matter instead.
UKAS-accredited inspection bodies for Asbestos surveying are listed in the inspection body directory on the UKAS website under the Asbestos tab.
Your organisation does not require accreditation, but will need to be certified by a UKAS accredited Certification Body for the BRC food standard.
To find a full list of all Certification Bodies accredited for the BRC food standard, please go to the Certification Bodies Search page of the UKAS website, and enter “BRC Global Food Standard” within the keywords field.
However, you should check their schedules of accreditation to ensure that their accreditation covers the specific food types that your company produces.
Your company does not need to be UKAS accredited itself, but needs to contact a Certification Body that is accredited for this activity.
To find a full list of all Certification Bodies accredited for the BRC/IOP food packaging scheme, please go to the Certification Bodies Search page of the UKAS website, and enter “BRC/IOP Global Standard” into the Keywords section.
However, you should check their schedules of accreditation to ensure that their accreditation covers the specific food packaging that your company produces.
UKAS has accredited a number of Certification Bodies for PAS 43 in conjunction with ISO 9001, and an engineering Inspection Body for accredited inspections in respect of PAS 43.
You will need to contact the accredited bodies directly to discuss how your company can be certified or inspected for PAS 43. To find details of bodies accredited for PAS 43, using the link above, type "PAS 43" in to the Keywords field, before clicking on Search.
There are a number of UKAS accredited Engineering Inspection Bodies that are accredited for in-service inspection of pressure systems. To view a list of suitable UKAS-accredited inspection bodies, using the link above, please type "pressure systems" into the Keywords field, before clicking on Search.
In order to apply for UKAS accreditation, all application forms are available to download on the Documents You Need section, which also includes a copy of the Route to Accreditation, which outlines the process in general terms, and the Terms & Conditions. However, the UKAS Inspection Body guidance document, RG 4, will help you with respect to particular clauses of ISO/IEC 17020 for this activity, and is available to download from the publications list on our website.
Please note that UKAS does not offer training for lifting equipment or any other activities carried out by the UKAS accredited Inspection Bodies, laboratories or certification bodies.
It is possible that details of organisations that can provide training for lifting equipment can be obtained by the HSE or the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association.
The new Building Regulations Approved Document E (2003) state that organisations making the sound insulation measurements in the field should preferably be UKAS accredited - how does my organisation go about this?
As a company testing sound insulation, you will need to apply for accreditation under ISO/IEC 17025:2005, and ensure that you meet all requirements that apply to your company within the standard. You will also need to complete the testing laboratory insert (AC4) within the Application Form even though your organisation is making measurements out in the field.
For details of organisations accredited for these tests please go to the Testing Laboratory Single Search page.
By entering the term "building acoustics" in the search engine you will be provided with a list of tests to be performed, select the test most relevant to your enquiry and then hit ‘search’. This will then give you a list of UKAS accredited laboratories available to perform the required test.
You can also enter your postcode with the original search to have the laboratories listed by distance from your location.