News Item • 3 mins read
UKAS has now published its Annual Report for 2023, which this year is centred around the multitude of ways accreditation delivers value to society at large. Different aspects of this theme are explored in a wide range of informative and insightful contributions from both the UKAS Executive and stakeholders.
The Chair, CEO and Financial Director provide a review of the year’s challenges, opportunities, achievements, investments and performance. Some of the key programmes initiated and schemes launched, including those in the sustainability, healthcare and forensic science arenas, are outlined by the Development Team. Following its introduction last year, there’s an update on the global reach and user-led enhancements incorporated into UKAS’s CertCheck service. The report also highlights how accreditation is evolving to continue providing the ideal framework for demonstrating competence and generating confidence for many years to come.
Regular, meaningful and effective engagement with both stakeholders and customers remains a vital part of UKAS’s operations and success. Both the Chair of the UKAS Policy Advisory Forum and the External Affairs Director discuss the benefits of building strong relationships with a broad spectrum of stakeholders to accurately reflect perspectives, underpin impartiality and raise accreditation’s profile. Our new Operations Director summarises the steps UKAS has taken to meet increasing customer demands, whilst the focus on customer feedback is further emphasised by the Technical Quality and Risk Group, which has introduced an additional customer satisfaction metric to its annual survey.
Managing sustainability, emerging technologies and global trade are just some of the issues facing organisations today and feature strongly in this year’s report. The scale of the net zero challenge and potential for accreditation (as part of the UK’s National Quality Infrastructure) in establishing net zero pathways is discussed with Positive Momentum. On the technology front, NATA examines the potential impact of the proposed Digital Product Conformity Certificate Exchange, which aims to resolve the authenticity and validity issues associated with current paper-based systems. Both the IQNET Association and ECIPE think tank emphasise the integral value of accreditation’s mutual recognition agreements, particularly in facilitating trade and building reliable global supply chains.
On the regulatory side, the Office for Product Safety and Standards is interviewed about accreditation’s effectiveness in enabling product safety and supporting the delivery of risk-based and proportionate legislation. This complements the Food Standards Agency’s article, which illustrates the crucial part that accreditation plays in ensuring the safety and authenticity of food.
Thanks to all the authors for their thought-provoking contributions, collaborating on an interesting overview of the invaluable role accreditation has in all aspects of our daily lives.