What does Accredited mean? Which is a question many people have but don’t know the clear answer. Accreditation is the free assessment of similarity evaluation bodies against perceived gauges to guarantee their unbiasedness and capability. In other words, accreditation is a process to evaluate and recognize an institution for meeting peer developed standards established to promote quality education.
Through the use of national and universal principles, government secures, and customers can believe in the alignment and test outcomes, assessment reports and confirmations gave. Accreditation is made accessible to various similarity appraisal bodies, specifically Testing and Calibration Laboratories, Medical/Clinical Laboratories, Certification and Inspection Bodies and Bodies Operating Certification of Persons. After accreditation, you will grant an accreditation declaration that can show on your premises. You will presently likewise have the option to utilize the Accreditation Mark and offer your similarity evaluation administrations with certainty both broadly and internationally.
There will likewise be follow-up surveillance which comprises of occasional assessments being completed to guarantee proceeded with consistence to the necessities and extent of accreditation. The accreditation will likewise require intermittent recharging, and the restoration time frame will rely upon the terms and states of the accreditation conspire.
Mainly there are two types of accreditation certificates are using for the accreditation process.
Benefits of Accreditation
In worldwide exchange, clients are getting all the requests and looking for confirmation on the items and administrations you give them. By getting accreditation, your clients will believe in the nature of items and administrations that you provide. This will empower you to assemble trust among you and your client.
Through the different common acknowledgment courses of action between accreditation bodies, foreign markets will acknowledge your organization have been ensured by a licensed affirmation body or acknowledge your test outcomes or investigations, that you are a certified research centre or review body.
Authorize associations decrease the danger of giving questionable test outcomes, administrations, and items, and can meet the clients’ desires. Being accredited reduce the risk of products or services being rejected by international trading partners
In spite of the fact that accreditation includes some significant downfalls, being accredited will reduce the costs in higher amounts from the cost of getting accreditation. Cost reserve funds may result from improved profitability, diminished personal time, decreased re-testing, etc.
No association will need to burn through cash on getting a report or authentication that has not been authorized by a skilled body. A Certifies association can exhibit credibility.
Accreditation will help to increases professional employment opportunities
Who gets benefits?
Being accredited gives governments a valid and vigorous system on which to additionally create and improve government to government two-sided and multilateral universal exchange understandings. The long-term aim is the completely acknowledged use and acknowledgement, by both open and private industries, including certificates from other countries.
Having products evaluated and certified as adjusting to a specific standard permits producers and specialist organizations to separate themselves from less legitimate providers.
Consumer certainty can be gained up from products or administrations that bear an imprint or convey a certification of similarity. Being accredited under the standards guarantee that such products and ventures put available, from whichever country of origin, meet the standards.
The general procedure for getting accreditation
- Enquiry and Formal Application
Application structures are openly accessible reports which can either be downloaded or gathered from particular web sites. You have to submit a correctly filled application and all other supporting reports with non-refundable application expenses. Candidates will mention additional data/explanations if necessary.
- Report and Record Review
Application and supporting archives presented by the Client will explore so as to confirm consistency as per the pertinent Standard by a skilful Lead Assessor selected, and a detailed criticism report will be given. The customer will take important restorative activities on the insufficiencies showed in the report inside a determined time period (two to a half year) and should submit it again to the relevant agent.
Lead assessor/Assessment group lead pre-assessment to confirm whether the recorded system ongoing or not. Assessment group will give a detailed feedback report. The customer will make an important restorative move on the insufficiencies showed in the report inside indicated timespan (two to a half year) and submit.
- Initial Assessment
This is the last review for the award of accreditation. A group comprising assessor as well as specialized specialists will lead the underlying evaluation. A feedback report will be given. The customer will make an important remedial move on the lacks showed in the report inside the indicated time period (two to a half year) and submit to the accreditation board.
- Submission of Corrective Actions
The customer will submit target proof for Corrective activities taken previously or not later than a half year. Following a half year, Client will submit a new application alongside related record. For this, there will be an extra charge for the handling of uses. This is material to all phases that include corrective activities.
- Recommendation by Assessment Team
The assessment team will suggest to the Accreditation Committee with respect to the Grant of accreditation.
- Grant of Accreditation
If the Accreditation Committee is satisfied with the suggestions of the assessment team, the candidate will be conceded accreditation with the endorsement of the Governing Council.
Note: This procedure may change depending on the country.
An accreditation body (AB) is an association that gives accreditation administrations, which is a formal, outsider acknowledgement of competence to perform specific tasks. In the last few decades, many specified standards have been developed, and with them, the number of organizations that check conformity and compliance with these standards has grown. These associations offer types of assistance, testing, inspection, calibration, and certification, and they might be in laboratories, review bodies, accreditation bodies, or different sorts of associations. Any person or thing can be assessed (products, equipment, people, management systems or organizations) and the job of an accreditation body is to survey the specialized capability and honesty of the associations offering these sorts of assessment benefits by:
- Ensuring that certification bodies, inspection agencies, calibration/testing laboratories and other conformity assessment bodies meet established standards that will enable them to provide a service in an objective and independent manner.
- Ensuring compliance with codes of ethics/conduct when providing assessment services.
- Examining the competence of the organization’s staff.
- Verifying the scope of an organization’s services. There are many sector-specific standards that not all associations play out a similar work or have comparable capacities, and accreditation bodies can help recognize and qualify those that are skilled to play out a characterized extent of work.
- With respect to the nature of items and services, accreditation bodies assume a significant job on the grounds that many are spurred to characterize and gauge the quality in a specific field. In their vision and statements of purpose, most accreditation bodies remember quality improvement for their separate field. This helps keep certify programs continually centred around quality improvement as one of their own proportions of achievement.
Accreditation bodies located in numerous countries with the fundamental role of guaranteeing that conformity assessment bodies are dependent upon oversight by a legitimate body. Accreditation bodies, which have been assessed by peers as equipped, sign courses of action that improve the acknowledgement of products and services across national borders, in this way it helps in making a system to help universal exchange.
The Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (APAC)
The primary role of APAC’s is to manage and expand a mutual recognition arrangement (MRA) among accreditation bodies in the Asia Pacific region. The duties of MRA are the acceptance of conformity assessment results (e.g. Test reports, trust certificates inspection reports and certification) across the region and with other areas around the world. This mutual recognition and acceptance of conformity assessment results reduce the need to undertake duplicate testing, inspection or certification thus saving time and money, increasing economic efficiency and facilitating international trade.
International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC)
The extent of ILAC MRA covers Testing Laboratories, including Medical Testing Laboratories. The International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) is the universal participation of Laboratory Inspection bodies shaped over 30 years before help evacuate specialized boundaries to exchange.
International Accreditation Forum (IAF)
The IAF takes the world relationship of conformity assessment accreditation bodies and different bodies to keen on conformity assessment in the fields of the management systems, products, services, personal and other similar programs of conformity assessment. Its essential capacity is to build up a solitary overall program of conformity assessment which decreases the chance for business and its clients by assuring them that accredited certificates may be relied upon. Accreditation guarantees clients of the fitness and unprejudiced nature of the body authorize.
The Sri Lanka Accreditation Board (SLAB)
SLAB is the National Accreditation Authority for Sri Lanka built up under the Sri Lanka Accreditation Board for Conformity Assessment Act. No. 32 of 2005. The Board, as the National Accreditation Authority for Sri Lanka, commits to propel accreditation activities and give the primary accreditation organizations to support conformity assessments of products for household and fare markets. This covers the Accreditation of Laboratories, Certification and Inspection Bodies, GHG (Greenhouse Gases) Validation/Verification Bodies giving different sorts of administrations to the Industry and the Business people group and the Government and the Consumer Public. SLAB is a Full Member of the International Laboratory Accreditation Co-operations (ILAC), The Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (APAC) and International Accreditation Forum (IAF).
Does accreditation is an essential tool used for assuring consumer protection and market fairness?
Accreditation facilitates domestic and international trade. Domestic trade which can be said as internal trade or home trade is buying and selling of household goods within the country. It can be wholesale or retail. If the production of goods inside the country is sufficient consumer requirement, it shows the growth of economy of the country.
When the goods and services are provided all over the country that uplifts the standard of living of people and employment rate of the country. International trading includes the exchange of products and services between countries. Those good and services can be traded internationally if they have met their standards and regulations and also if they have won the confidence and the trust of the consumer. So, the accredited goods and services are welcome by the consumer with no second thought. Industries buy independent evaluations such as testing of products, equipment calibration, an inspection of equipment, certification of quality management etc. or consider legal requirements such as health and safety regulations. If the industry is not accredited, it will lead to arise risks regarding the product.
There are product failure due to invalid test results, increasing costs due to measurements of inaccurate or poorly calibrate equipment, not been able to support products with an accredited certificate. It is understood that accreditation brings benefits to the industry. That makes it easier market access of a product with accredited testing and also it will reduce the money and the time required in re-testing products. In product development, accredited testing and calibration laboratory plays an essential role by providing advice and knowledge.
As a country accreditation is very much important. It will help to improve the quality and the efficacy of the activities in the country. There are examples that prove it. When a patient is asked by a doctor to get a test done before prescribing medicine, the patient goes to a place when he finds the name ‘Medical Center’. The test can be Full Blood Count (FBC) or Fasting Blood Sugar (FBS) or any other test that help in diagnosing the disease. If the patient is curious or inquisitive, he may take the same report from several laboratories.
Most of the time, what happens is they deviated from each other, which is a big issue to be considered. The reason is obvious that those medical laboratories are not following the required standards in their testing processes. As nobody is correct, the patient will be facing a lot of inconveniences. With several types of test reports on his hand, how can the doctor give a treatment? If that is something serious or a critical situation, the action taken according to the report will be a mess. Sometimes it is the death of the patient because of that single mistake. So that the attention of the country should be paid to that problem as possible because that is a problem with lives of people.
Pasindu Chamikara – Microbiologist