back to listings SME Profile: United Kingdom Accreditation Service
The United Kingdom Accreditation Service is the sole national accreditation body recognised by government to assess, against internationally agreed standards, organisations that provide certification, testing, inspection and calibration services.
Accreditation by UKAS demonstrates the competence, impartiality and performance capability of these evaluators. UKAS is a non-profit-distributing private company, limited by guarantee. UKAS is independent of Government but is appointed as the national accreditation body by Accreditation Regulations 2009 (SI No 3155/2009) and the EU Regulation (EC) 765/2008 and operates under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government through the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.
UKAS is licensed by BIS to use and confer the national accreditation symbols (formerly national accreditation marks) which symbolise Government recognition of the accreditation process.
UKAS accreditation provides an assurance of the competence, impartiality and integrity of conformity assessment bodies. UKAS accredited certification, testing and calibration and inspection reduces the need for suppliers to be assessed by each of their customers. UKAS' involvement in international groups provides for mutual recognition which further reduces the need for multiple assessments of suppliers and as a consequence helps to reduce barriers to trade. It is therefore BIS policy to recommend the use of UKAS accredited conformity assessment services whenever this is an option.
What is Accreditation?
Accreditation is a formal, third party recognition of competence to perform specific tasks. It provides a means to identify a proven, competent evaluator so that the selection of a laboratory, inspection or certification body is an informed choice. UKAS accreditation means the evaluator can demonstrate to its customer that it has been successful at meeting the requirements of international accreditation standards.
Usually the reason for getting something independently evaluated is to confirm it meets specific requirements in order to reduce risks. Obvious examples are product failure, health risks, company reputation or to meet legal or customer requirements. Anything or anyone can be evaluated - products, equipment, people, management systems or organisations.
Accreditation by UKAS means that evaluators: testing and calibration laboratories, inspection and certification bodies have been assessed against internationally recognised standards to demonstrate their competence, impartiality and performance capability.