What is ISO 17020 accreditation?June 14, 2023 2023-06-14 16:50
What is ISO 17020 accreditation?
ISO/IEC 17020:2012 is a globally recognized standard, devised by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), specifying the requirements for the competence of bodies performing inspection and for the impartiality and consistency of their inspection activities. It applies to inspection bodies of type A, B, or C, as defined in ISO/IEC 17020:2012, and it applies to any stage of inspection.
Accreditation to ISO 17020 demonstrates technical competence and impartial operation, as assessed by an accreditation body. When an inspection body is accredited to ISO 17020, it has undergone a rigorous evaluation process that includes an assessment of its management systems and inspection processes, as well as competence in the specific tasks for which accreditation is sought. Accreditation provides assurance that the inspection body has the necessary technical skills, equipment, and systems in place to perform its tasks effectively.
Accreditation involves the inspection body providing documented evidence and demonstrating in practice that it conforms to the standard’s requirements. These requirements include those related to the competence of its personnel, the adequacy of its inspection equipment, and the appropriateness of its inspection methods and procedures. Also included are requirements for impartiality, confidentiality, complaint resolution, and continuous improvement.
An accredited inspection body also has to demonstrate that it maintains a high level of customer service, ensuring that the needs of its clients are met and that the inspections it carries out are suitable for their intended purpose. It must also have arrangements in place to ensure that it keeps abreast of developments in the field of inspection and that it maintains its competence over time.
It’s worth noting that ISO/IEC 17020:2012 is used in conjunction with ISO/IEC 17000:2004, Conformity assessment — Vocabulary and general principles, which provides a basis for understanding and discussing conformity assessment.
In conclusion, ISO 17020 accreditation is about ensuring competence, consistency, and confidence in inspection activities. It gives inspection bodies the ability to demonstrate that they are reliable in their work, which, in turn, provides confidence to their clients and the public at large.