This technical bulletin affects scheme owners for all new conformity assessment schemes (CAS). UKAS has formalised its process for evaluating CAS.
New CAS are usually evaluated together with an application for accreditation for a scope to include that new CAS and this will continue. However, new CAS are also evaluated without an application for accreditation at the request of the scheme owner. From either route, the evaluation process is the same. The purpose of the evaluation is to confirm that the process undertaken for ensuring the technical robustness and the market acceptability of the CAS was suitable and thorough resulting in a CAS which appears capable of achieving its intended outcome(s) for the conformity assessment standard identified (e.g. ISO/IEC 17065).
The evaluation for all CAS includes eligibility for accredited conformity assessment (see Development of new areas of accreditation). Once it is established that the CAS satisfies the UKAS eligibility criteria, the CAS is evaluated against the relevant criteria in Annex 1 of EA-1/22 EA Procedure and Criteria for the Evaluation of Conformity Assessment Schemes by EA Accreditation Body Members and any requirements within the applicable conformity assessment standard.
This approach is particularly of benefit to scheme owners who intend their CAS to be offered:
1) by different conformity assessment bodies, and
2) in different countries, as by utilising the EA-1/22, a single review by UKAS resulting in a positive outcome (i.e. acceptance of the suitability of the CAS to be used to accredit conformity assessment bodies) can reduce/remove the need for further evaluation of the CAS by the national accreditation body of countries in which participating conformity assessment bodies reside.
Conformity assessment bodies seeking accreditation to include a new CAS should continue to apply through the UKAS application process and the CAS evaluation will form part of the overall assessment of the body concerned. Specific information will be requested regarding the CAS using F530 Conformity Assessment Scheme (CAS) Evaluation Application Form.
Scheme owners requesting the evaluation of their CAS without an application for accreditation will need to apply to UKAS using F530 Conformity Assessment Scheme (CAS) Evaluation Application Form.
For further information please contact Ian Ronksley at [email protected].
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