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Consultancy to strengthen National Accreditation Body as per ISO GUIDE 61

What is accreditation?

Before engaging in a description of the benefits derived from accreditation the term 'accreditation' itself should be defined and understood within the larger field of conformity assessment:
Accreditation is the, 'procedure by which an authoritative body gives formal recognition that a body or person is competent to carry out specific tasks' (ISO/IEC Guide 2, s. 12.11). For the purposes of this paper, the term accreditation is restricted to approval by an accreditation body against the guides and international standards published by the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission.

 Benefits of accreditation to the developing countries

Accreditation has become almost a 'de facto prerequisite' to international trade

All developing countries have some valuable goods and services that they can export regionally and internationally to improve their economies. Statistically though, developing countries face more technical barriers to trade (TBT) barriers than those of developed countries. Lack of acceptance of laboratory test data and certification results across national borders has been identified as a significant barrier to trade.
 

Accreditation is beneficial to government and regulators

Accreditation supports the establishment of a well-structured national technical regulatory framework and could be an important tool for regulators in developing countries. The accreditation process helps provide assurance to regulators that a particular organization/individual is competent to perform a specified conformity assessment activity (scope) based on recognized and transparent criteria and procedures.
 

Autonomy (political, economic)

Perhaps the most basic 'value-added' benefit to be derived from the implementation of a national accreditation program is the economic and political autonomy which can be gained. Ownership and control of an accreditation system removes dependence on the accreditation bodies of developed countries. Ownership of the accreditation program prevents a developed country from using the threat of withdrawal of accrediting services for political and economic leverage to accomplish its goals.
 

Increased Quality of Goods and Operations

Use of a well-designed and implemented accreditation process may result in an improved quality of goods and services. In developing countries, this is especially true when the accreditation scheme is integrated into a larger quality improvement and recognition program. With an increase in quality of goods comes increased access to markets and the potential for higher profit margins. Accreditation processes may also improve organizational efficiency through the reduction of waste, better staff time utilization and streamlined management procedures.
 

Accreditation is a Useful Marketing Tool

Accreditation is internationally recognized as a reliable indicator of technical competence. National economies which have established an accreditation infrastructure are better positioned to build national and international confidence in the quality of products and services which they produce. Increased consumer confidence, especially on an international scale is likely to aid national and regional economic growth.

Challenges of establishing an accreditation system

While the benefits of establishing accreditation systems in developing countries are many, some acknowledgment must also be made of the difficulties inherent in building this type of infrastructure. Likely the greatest difficulty is that of costs. An accreditation system is a highly specialized, knowledge-intensive endeavour which can be expected to involve significant costs. These can be contained somewhat by not attempting to replicate a vast developed country system; but only providing the necessary scopes and services.

Linked to this is the additional difficulty of designing an accreditation system large enough to provide a full range of conformity assessment programs at competitive rates yet able to sustain itself in a small economy with a limited number of clients. A possible solution to this would be the development of a regional accreditation body rather than individual national accreditation bodies.

In addition, external forces may also impinge on the efforts of developing countries to implement their own accreditation systems. Exporting firms and developing country markets for example, may prefer accreditation by a body from a developed country with which they are already familiar and confident. Finally, the establishment of an accreditation system could take some years to complete.
 

We can help you

Pramod Gupta & Company has the persons/Associates who have prior experience to strengthen a National Accreditation Body as per ISO GUIDE 61. We can also Conduct the gap analysis or if you require more information please contact info@pramodgupta.com

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