UKRAS offers accreditation schemes for Management Systems Certification Bodies, Inspection Bodies, Product Certification Bodies, Calibration and Testing Laboratories, Proficiency Testing Providers as well as Good Laboratory Practice. Each scheme offers a specific set of capabilities, and they are altogether designed to accommodate the different products and services currently in the market.
UKRAS accredits management system certification bodies on the basis of the ISO/IEC 17021 standard. Certification bodies are assessed based on their independence, integrity and technical competence. They have to demonstrate a level of competence, within their area of operation and the audit organisations’ management systems that fulfils the requirements of ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 22000 or other international standards.
Scope of Accreditation
A certification body’s scope of accreditation indicates which management systems it is accredited to assess and certify:
All certification bodies are eligible to apply for the above accreditation schemes.
UKRAS accredits laboratories on the basis of the ISO/IEC 17025 standard. UKRAS accreditation is only granted for specific tests and calibrations in specific fields. Laboratories are only allowed to issue endorsed reports for accredited tests and calibrations.
Scope of Accreditation
UKRAS offers specialty programs in the following areas:
UKRAS accredits product certification bodies on the basis of the ISO/IEC 17065 standard.
Product certification bodies determine whether products, services or manufacturing processes meet requirement. A major difference is that they do not just inspect a single sample or a single batch but they also inspect the company. They also assess subsequent products to verify if a batch of products meets the specified requirements for example? And verify the consistency if the next batch is produced in the same way. Complying manufacturers can use the relevant mark. A product certifying body continues to provide ongoing supervision.
UKRAS accredits inspection bodies on the basis of the ISO/IEC 17020 standard.
Inspection covers a wide array of activities/services. It is the examination of a product design, product service or process/plant. It also involves determining its conformity, either against specific requirements or on the basis of professional judgment. Achieving effective inspection is important in maintaining the safety of plant machinery, equipment, structures and systems in operation.
UKRAS accredits proficiency testing providers on the basis of the ISO/IEC 17043 standard.
Proficiency testing involves the use of inter-laboratory comparisons for the determination of laboratory performance. PTP’s ensure that all samples have precisely the same composition and that the results obtained are processed in the correct way.
Calibration laboratories, test laboratories and medical laboratories regularly have to take part in proficiency testing. For a proficiency test various laboratories are sent the same sample, which could be blood, sludge or drinking water for example. The composition of the sample is known to the organiser. The laboratories test the sample and send their results to the organising party who then checks whether the results are mutually comparable and reports on this to the participants. This guarantees that a laboratory produces reliable results. The need for ongoing confidence in laboratory performance is not only essential for laboratories and their customers but also for other interested parties such as regulators and accreditation bodies.
UKRAS accredits personnel certification bodies on the basis of the ISO/IEC 17024 standard.
Accreditation of a personnel certification body is the process of assessing and publicly recognizing the credibility, impartiality and technical competence of an organization’s personnel certification services. Personnel certification bodies provide services for many professional and trade persons, such as auditors, welders and doctors. The role of certification bodies involves assessing the individuals’ necessary competencies, and ensuring that these are appropriate to the work being performed.
The major difference between this and a diploma is the certification involves ongoing supervision. A certificate therefore has a specific period of validity.