As the United Kingdom’s National Accreditation Body, UKAS is first and foremost set-up to meet the needs of businesses and institutions within the United Kingdom. However, UKAS does consider applications for accreditation from organisations based outside of the United Kingdom and we have a growing number of non-UK customers who have a demonstrable need for UKAS accreditation.
How do I find my local accreditation body?
There is global system for Accreditation, where regional accreditation bodies from around the world have been evaluated by peers and signed an arrangement that enhances the acceptance of products and services across national borders. The purpose of these arrangements is to create an international framework to support international trade through the removal of technical barriers.
Once a Local Accreditation Body becomes a signatory to such arrangements, they will be listed on the relevant database:
Under the ILAC MRA and the IAF MLA, accreditation is considered as technically equivalent to that of UKAS and therefore accepted around the world. Accreditation provided by your local accreditation body could also be more economical and could better take account of local factors and conditions.
We are based in Europe; can our company get UKAS accreditation?
Due to requirements of EU Legislative Framework – Regulation EC 765/2008, UKAS is not able to accept any applications from countries with a Local Accreditation Body (LAB) that is a signatory to the European Cooperation for Accreditation Multi-Lateral Agreement. This is the case unless the organisation has written confirmation from the LAB that it is unable to provide them the accreditation they seek and that the LAB accepts the organisation can seek accreditation elsewhere.
What are the costs of UKAS accreditation?
Until we receive an application for accreditation which details the size, complexity and geographies of your operation, it is very difficult to provide an accurate estimate as to what it will cost you to become UKAS-accredited.
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. A list of current fees can be found in the UKAS Standard Terms of Business and typical examples for UK organisations are listed on our website here.
There are additional charges and conditions regarding payment for organisations based outside of the EU. Such organisations are advised to read UKAS’ standard terms of business prior to making any application.
Will UKAS accept my application?
Organisations based outside of the United Kingdom who wish to apply for UKAS Accreditation are advised to follow the process under the below heading; ‘I would still like to progress UKAS accreditation, what do I do?’ prior to completing and submitting a formal application to UKAS.
UKAS is not required to accept applications from overseas applicants even where there is a valid reason for needing UKAS accreditation. UKAS will not accept applications where it considers that safety, security or political factors present in the country are likely to present a barrier to UKAS conducting its assessments appropriately. UKAS’ decision on the acceptance or rejection of an application from an overseas applicant is final.
I would still like to progress UKAS accreditation, what do I do?
Organisations based outside of the United Kingdom will need to demonstrate a specific need for UKAS accreditation as opposed to that offered by their Local Accreditation Body (LAB) within their country.
Justifications for needing UKAS accreditation include:
- There is no LAB within the country that the organisation is based.
- There is a LAB within the country that the organisation is based but that LAB is not a signatory to either the IAF or ILAC Multilateral agreements.
- There is a LAB within the country that the organisation is based and the LAB is a signatory to either the IAF or ILAC Multilateral agreements, but not for the scope of accreditation sought.
- The organisation requires UKAS Accreditation to support the acceptance of its services or products in other economies and accreditation from the organisation’s LAB will not provide this.
- The LAB has stated that it is currently unable to provide accreditation to the organisation.
In all cases UKAS recommends that organisations initially contact their LAB (where available) to discuss how the LAB can support their needs prior to seeking accreditation from UKAS.
If you do still wish to pursue UKAS accreditation, you will be required to complete the Overseas Enquiry Form, as well as the relevant Application Form for your activity so that we are able to determine whether we can accept your application in this instance. If we can, we will provide an estimate of costs for your review. No application will be chargeable until confirmation that UKAS is able to accept a formal application has been provided.
UKAS will actively seek cooperation from the Local Accreditation Body (LAB) when conducting assessments in countries where there is a LAB that is a member of the IAF or ILAC multi-lateral agreements. This may include the LAB observing the assessment or forming part of the assessment team. If the organisation has previously held accreditation from their LAB, UKAS will request information from the LAB as to the reason why accreditation is no longer in place for that organisation.
UKAS Sales team contacts:
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +44 (0)1784 428 806