Accreditation is the process in which certification of competency, authority, or credibility is presented.

Organizations that issue credentials or certify third parties against official standards are themselves formally accredited by accreditation bodies (such as UKAS); hence they are sometimes known as "accredited certification bodies".[1] The accreditation process ensures that their certification practices are acceptable, typically meaning that they are competent to test and certify third parties, behave ethically and employ suitable quality assurance.

Fields that involve accreditation

Accreditation processes are used in a wide variety of fields:

Accreditation standards

Many accreditation bodies operate according to processes developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as specified in ISO/IEC 17011.[2] Accredited entities in specific sectors must provide evidence to the accreditation body that they conform to other standards in the same series:

See also

International agencies
National agencies


  1. USDA ISO Guide 65 Program Accreditation for Certification Bodies Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service, August 9, 2007
  2. ISO/IEC 17011: "Conformity assessment. General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies" (2004).

External links

Look up accreditation in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.



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