Customer area

International Recognition and the Global Accreditation Network

UKAS has, throughout its history, been an active member and supporter of the regional and international accreditation communities. The aim of these communities and of the regional and international accreditation systems is to harmonise accreditation and conformity assessment activities around the globe, recognise technical equivalence of accredited conformity assessment through mutual recognition agreements (MLAs), and to help global trade through the removal of Technical Barriers to Trade.

UKAS is a member of the following organisations:

  • European co-operation for Accreditation (EA)
  • International Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation (ILAC)
  • International Accreditation Forum (IAF)

Due to the important role that these organisations have in determining the last level of quality and technical assurance in the European and International conformity assessment infrastructures, it is important for the UK that UKAS continues to have a strong and influential voice in each. This is recognised within the Memorandum of Understanding that UKAS has with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on behalf of UK Government as a whole, which provides authority for UKAS to represent the UK in international committees relating to accreditation.

UKAS operates a comprehensive International Programme to ensure that it continues to remain active in all relevant regional and international committees and working groups and to promote the UK model of accreditation and conformity assessment.

Mutual recognition is a core function of the regional and international organisations, and each operates an effective and globally recognised MLA system, underpinned by peer evaluation against the requirements of the International Standard for the operation of accreditation bodies (ISO/IEC 17011). As a full signatory to these agreements, UKAS is able to provide its accredited bodies with global recognition, with UKAS accredited reports and certificates being accepted as technically equivalent to other signatories. The concept being – Accredited once, accepted everywhere.

For specific details on the UKAS signatory status for each MLA please visit: