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Upholding the integrity of accreditation

In UKAS’ Annual Report for 2021, Lorraine Turner discusses UKAS’ commitment to upholding the integrity of accreditation.

UKAS accreditation is universally accepted as a driver of confidence for a number of important reasons. Most significantly, UKAS’s history and track record demonstrate its effectiveness, having been the UK’s sole national accreditation body for over 25 years. Through UKAS’s membership of international accreditation organisations such as ILAC, IAF and EA, its international recognition gives it global reach on behalf of its customers, stakeholders and end users.

This places UKAS at the centre of a global peer review process that is central to generating trust and driving quality.  Because of the breadth of its scope, delivering accreditation across all major industry and service sectors, UKAS is uniquely placed to share the principles of accreditation and facilitate the common values that drive quality standards, irrespective of the type of organisation or situation involved.  This means UKAS is trusted to deliver accreditation in areas as diverse as nuclear power, forensic science, healthcare diagnostics and food testing.

Underpinning this integrity is a vital network of stakeholders who all share a common commitment to accreditation and with whom UKAS is centrally engaged. The network includes customer associations covering certification, testing and measurement as well as representative organisations from key industry sectors such as the Chartered Quality Institute and the Science Council.

In addition to being a key partner in the UK’s National Quality Infrastructure, UKAS also works closely with policy makers and government agencies, alongside national and regional government departments. The positive engagement in and commitment of all these bodies ensures UKAS accreditation continues to deliver positive and quality outcomes for consumers and end users of products and services, as well as the organisations that provide them and the policy makers responsible for them.

UKAS is committed to delivering its service in a way that is understood and appreciated by all the parties involved. Stakeholder meetings, technical advisory committees and training sessions all aim to achieve this, alongside the everyday work of every team member involved with delivering accreditation. In this way UKAS is determined to uphold the integrity of accreditation so it continues to be the route of choice when it comes to delivering a world of confidence in the wide range of goods and services that we all rely on every day.