UKAS Cross Frontier Policy

As the UK’s National Accreditation Body, UKAS is committed to focusing its services on Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) established in the UK.

However, this does not mean that UKAS does not operate outside of the UK borders as this may be required to meet the demands of UK businesses which also have offices based overseas. In addition, where resource permits, UKAS can accredit in other parts of the world where this does not impact on UK competitiveness or conflict with the requirements placed on UKAS as a National Accreditation Body.

UKAS’ approach is covered by its ‘cross-frontier’ policy, which considers those European and International mandatory requirements and guidelines placed upon Accreditation Bodies. A summary of these requirements/guidelines is provided below.

Cross Frontier Accreditation within Europe

Within the European regional accreditation group (European Co-operation for Accreditation – EA) the rules on cross-frontier accreditation are governed by the European Accreditation Regulation: Reg (EC) No. 765/2008. This states that a European Conformity Assessment Body (CAB) seeking accreditation shall do so from the Member State in which it is established.  This means that UKAS shall not normally offer accreditation to a CAB who is established i.e. has a head office in Europe.

The policy on cross-frontier accreditation with Europe is published in the EA Publication EA-2/13  and, as a member of EA, UKAS abides by those requirements set out in this publication.

UKAS’ compliance with the requirements on cross-frontier accreditation is closely inspected during its EA Peer Evaluations, and it is important that it continues to demonstrate compliance in order to maintain its status as a signatory to the multilateral agreements (MLA).

Cross Frontier Accreditation within the Rest of the World

For the rest of the world and specifically those regions outside of Europe, UKAS is permitted to offer accreditation to those who might wish to seek accreditation.  However, those Accreditation Bodies who are members of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) are expected to promote the multilateral agreements, and inform interested parties that accreditation should be sought from their local Accreditation Body in the first instance, subject to their being signatories to the appropriate ILAC and/or IAF multilateral agreements. Therefore, UKAS would always encourage any CAB who is established outside of Europe and is seeking accreditation to approach their local Accreditation Body first. However, if a CAB insists on seeking UKAS accreditation we can progress an application for accreditation but would seek to do so in co-operation with the local Accreditation Body.

Further details on the guidance policy on international cross-frontier accreditation can be found in ILAC Guidance Document G-21 which details the principles for co-operation between Accreditation Bodies in the fields of testing, calibration and inspection.