» Development of new areas of accreditation
UKAS operates a new product development programme, enabling us to develop innovative ways to reflect and serve the market sectors in which we operate. When exploring new or emerging areas or schemes and fields of accreditation, we start by assessing the validity of the proposal in order to establish whether:
- there is a genuine need for accreditation and appropriate ownership of the approach being offered (driven by the market and/or government regulation or legislation and not by the evaluators);
- the approach has been developed by relevant interested parties;
- the evaluation criteria meet appropriate technical standards;
- the approach is eligible for UKAS accreditation i.e. in the public interest and eligible for international recognition.
There are a great many potential subjects for accreditation which are currently being developed for implementation.
The constant changes and challenges that businesses are experiencing in their internal and external environments mean that we must not only investigate the validity of emerging areas for accreditation but must also keep our own assessment and accreditation processes under constant review in order to keep abreast of technological developments and to identify and develop newer or ‘smarter’ ways of operating. These in turn provide greater value to our customers helping to maintain and improve their competence and performance. If you are responsible for determining policies that involve any form of independent evaluation, UKAS can help you define your needs or design an assessment service.
|A guide to our new product development services||Which standard will meet your need?|
Further information is contained in the Development of new areas of accreditation
The International Standards Organisation (ISO) has produced some useful documents to assist bodies in understanding the difference between competency and management system based standards as well as guidance on understanding what conformity assessment schemes are, how to write them and what should be included in the scheme. Please find below a list of useful documents, some of which are free to download and others which need to be purchased from a National Standards Body such as BSI in the UK.
What type of Conformity Assessment – Useful documents
- Competency or management system based standards ? Frequently Asked Questions
Development of Scheme Documentation – Useful documents
- How to develop scheme documents - Guidance for ISO technical committees (but has general application)
- How to develop schemes for the certification of persons - Guidance of ISO/IEC 17024 (developed to assist ISO Committees but with general application to schemes for the certification of persons
- How to Write Standards - Tips for standards writers (aimed at ISO standards writers but has useful content for the writing of normative documents
- Conformity assessment for standards writers Do’s and don’ts - (information provided to assist ISO standards writers with some content having general application for scheme documents)
- General information on conformity assessment schemes (ISO CASCO generic information for Regulators regarding schemes for the certification of products, processes and services but having general application)
- ISO/IEC 17007:2009 Conformity assessment -- Guidance for drafting normative documents suitable for use for conformity assessment – Purchase from National Standards Body (e.g. Bsi online)
- ISO/IEC TR 17028 - Conformity assessment -- Guidelines and examples of a certification scheme for services – Purchase from National Standards Body (e.g. Bsi online)
- ISO/IEC TR 17026 - Conformity assessment -- Example of a certification scheme for tangible products – Purchase from National Standards Body (e.g. Bsi online)
- ISO/IEC 17067 Conformity assessment -- Fundamentals of product certification and guidelines for product certification schemes – Purchase from National Standards Body (e.g. Bsi online)
- ISO/IEC TS 17027 Conformity assessment -- Vocabulary related to competence of persons used for certification of persons – Purchase from National Standards Body (e.g. Bsi online)
- ISO/IEC TR 17032 Conformity assessment - Guidelines and examples of a scheme for the certification of processes – Purchase from National Standards Body (e.g. Bsi online)
Information Required for a Conformity Assessment Scheme (CAS) to be Evaluated
UKAS evaluates all CAS in the same way following the process detailed in the European Cooperation on Accreditation publication EA-1/22 (but excluding those elements that are not applicable where, for example, the CAS is only to be used by a single conformity assessment body). To evaluate a CAS requires specific information and EA-1/22 Annex 1 details the information UKAS requires to do this with Annex 2 providing useful guidance on conformity assessment schemes. Other suggested reading for those writing CAS can be found in ISO CASCO publications ‘How to develop scheme documents - Guidance for ISO technical committees’ and ‘How to develop schemes for the certification of persons- Guidance of ISO/IEC 17024’ noting that although both documents are aimed at ISO technical committees they contain useful information for anyone writing CAS.
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.
If you are a Government official, Scheme Owner, healthcare professional or conformity assessment body, and you are interested in using accreditation to underpin the quality of evaluations carried out by conformity assessment bodies, please contact us on 01784 429 000 or by email DevelopmentEnquiries@ukas.com.
A list of current pilot projects, or those where UKAS is seeking expressions of interest, is available here.