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What Is World Accreditation Day?

30 May 2017

World Accreditation Day was established to raise awareness about the need for universally recognized standards in the commercial, governmental and nonprofit sectors. Learn more!

World Accreditation Day is celebrated on June 9, and now is the perfect time for organizations to consider the role ISO and related standards can play in their operation. A joint initiative of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), World Accreditation Day was established to raise awareness about the need for universally recognized standards in the commercial, governmental and nonprofit sectors.

Delivering Confidence In Construction And The Built Environment

The theme for World Accreditation Day 2017 is “Delivering confidence in construction and the built environment.” As we become more aware of the impact the built environment has on occupant health — both directly, in the form of indoor air quality and other concerns, and indirectly as a source of generalized stress — there is a clear need for more forward-thinking standards to govern it. Programming for World Accreditation Day is centered on a series of questions:

  • Are the buildings we live or work in safe?

  • Are they capable of withstanding storms, fires and other disasters?

  • Are they built from materials of a suitable quality?

  • Are they sustainable?

Through events, media campaigns and other activities, World Accreditation Day aims to promote the role formal standards play in answering these questions. Risk mitigation in construction is crucial. Structural failures, natural disasters, and material quality must all be considered with great weight. Accreditation standards allow for companies to prepare for and assess how to mitigate all potential risks in the built environment.

Applicable Standards

Construction and the built environment is a vast topic — one that all of us interact with on a daily basis. Some of the standards that go into ensuring its quality include:

  • ISO 9001, the ISO standard for quality management systems

  • ISO 14001, the ISO standard for environmental management and performance

  • ISO 50001, the ISO standard for energy management

  • OHSAS 18001, the standard for managing risk and meeting legal requirements around occupational health and safety

Each of the above standards is based on a continuous improvement cycle that is scalable to grow with your business. Accreditation provides organizations with universally recognized proof of their technical competence, as well as a framework for improving overall quality and consistency in their day-to-day operations.

Who Can Benefit From Accreditation?

When it comes to the built environment, accreditation is something that benefits all stakeholders, including:

  • Construction companies: Accreditation gives construction companies confidence that their supply chain is reliable and of a suitable quality. It provides employees with a safe work space and provides built-in credentials that can be useful when bidding on jobs or expanding into new markets.

  • Manufacturers of construction materials: Accreditation gives manufacturers a set of reliable quality control checks to reduce the risk of nonconforming products. It also provides a formal structure for achieving growth without compromising consistency, and sets clear protocols for dealing with performance issues when they arise.

  • Government agencies and regulators: Government agencies benefit from the established credentials accreditation provides. This frees regulatory bodies to rely on independent auditors rather than their internal expertise, streamlining operations and reducing costs while continuing to ensure acceptable standards are met in the built environment.

  • Building owners: Building owners and facility managers gain the confidence of knowing that accredited suppliers and contractors will perform to an acceptable standard, and that there is a remediation process available should issues arise. This leads to safer, more sustainable buildings, fewer occupant complaints and less risk of code and other regulatory violations.

  • Building occupants: Accreditation gives occupants increased confidence in the built environment. Accredited standards for sustainability and environmental performance help potential residents make forward-thinking choices that are in line with their values and priorities.

Ultimately, accreditation can be thought of as a common language used to discuss issues related to safety, environmental and quality management. The goal of World Accreditation Day and related initiatives is to bring fluency to a broader range of individuals and organizations and, in doing so, improve the overall efficacy and usefulness of the accreditation process.

What You Can Do

World Accreditation Day happens once a year, but accreditation is an ongoing process. NQA works with construction companies, suppliers, regulators and other organizations to find reputable consultants, related training, and useful resources for accreditation.