What is accreditation?
Accreditation is an independent assessment that ensures certification bodies have the technical competence and integrity of impartiality to deliver credible certification services. This is essential to building confidence and trust in certification.
UKAS defines accreditation as: a means of assessing, in the public interest, the technical competence and integrity of the organisations offering evaluation services including testing, inspection, calibration and certification.
We believe in the integrity of standards and rigor of the certification process. That's why it's our policy to achieve accreditation for our services wherever possible.
Who accredits us?
NQA is currently accredited for its services by the following Accreditation Bodies and industry regulators. These regulators regularly and rigorously assess us against international standards to ensure our competence, impartiality and performance capability.
- UKAS – the United Kingdom Accreditation Service for which we have one of the widest scopes of accreditation covering most economic sectors.
ANAB – the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board is the largest multi-disciplinary accreditation body in North America.
- IATF – the International Automotive Task Force for the provision of certification against IATF 16949 (Automotive Quality Management)
ACCREDIA – Accredia is the sole national accreditation body appointed by the Italian government in compliance with the application of the European Regulation 765/2008, attesting the competence, independence and impartiality of certification, inspection and verification bodies, as well as testing and calibration laboratories.*
EIAC – Emirates International Accreditation Centre (EIAC) was established pursuant to Law number (27) for the year 2015, issued by the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, to become the governmental accreditation body of the Emirate of Dubai.
FSSC – The FSSC 22000 Scheme is managed by the independent Foundation FSSC 22000. FSSC 22000 is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and developed in response to the needs of the international food sector.
CNAS – China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment (hereinafter referred to as CNAS) is the national accreditation body of China unitarily responsible for the accreditation of certification bodies, laboratories and inspection bodies, which is established under the approval of the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China (CNCA) and authorized by CNCA in accordance with the Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Certification and Accreditation.
IECQ (International Electrotechnical Commission Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components) – The IECQ is a worldwide approval and certification system covering the supply of electronic components and associated materials and assemblies (including modules) and processes. It uses quality assessment specifications that are based on International Standards prepared by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
* This approval relates to the delivery of RT-05 certification in the Italian construction sector.
Our accreditation certificates
Summary of Accredited Scope issued by UKAS (Management Systems)
ISO 17021-1:2015 UKAS Accreditation Certificate International Standard ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 - Conformity Assessment – Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems.
Impartiality is a fundamental principle of accredited certification. This means that certification decisions are based solely on objective evidence of conformity and are not influenced by any other interests.
We take potential conflicts of interest very seriously and ensure that impartiality is not compromised at any time. In particular, we ensure that, irrespective of which consultancy may have been employed to implement or maintain a client's management system:
certification will not be simpler, easier, faster or less expensive
certification decisions will be based solely on the objective evidence
NQA's policy is to provide accredited certification wherever possible. Some schemes do not have an accreditation and in those cases we still apply the same rigor, processes, competence requirements and impartiality as if it were accredited.
Unaccredited certification can be an attractive way of achieving certification quickly and cheaply. However, it can have serious shortcomings including:
- failure to meet customer requirements, particularly contractual obligations
- lack of integrity which can damage reputation
- wasted time, budget and resources
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published a position statement on unaccredited certification on its website (BEIS policy on unaccredited certification).