Accreditation can add value to an organization by providing confidence in its goods and services, improving competitiveness and enabling an easier track for regulatory compliance.
What Is Accreditation and Why is it Important?
Accreditation is a form of verification that confirms the competency of a company and whether it meets specific standard requirements to perform a particular function such as testing, inspection, certification, and calibration. These verifications are completed by independent accreditation parties. Government regulatory bodies usually require accreditation in order to consider technical organizations, such as laboratories, to be competent and reliable.
A major drive for accreditation is the world demand for quality, reliance, and the safety of goods and services. Accreditation to well-known international standards provides immediate trust, confidence, and proven quality assurance for a company.
History of International Standards
International Standardization Organization (ISO) was established in 1947 in London, with 67 technical committee members from 25 countries. The goal of ISO was to provide a platform for quality, safety, and confidence in goods and services. In 1949, the ISO office was moved to Geneva, and the first ISO standard was published in 1951.
In 1987, ISO published its first Quality Management Standard, the ISO 9000 family. Today, with over 22,400 international standards, ISO covers a variety of topics within Quality Management Systems, including the environment, information security, social responsibility, energy management, and occupational health and safety. With more than 1,250,000 certificates issued in more than 185 countries, ISO 9001 is by far the most recognized management system standard in the world.
What is a Quality Management System?
The quality management system (QMS) is central to the ISO 9001 standard. Simply put, it is a set of guidelines for standard operating procedures with a focus on quality control. These guidelines include a collection of policies, processes, and documented procedures that define the optimal way an organization chooses to deliver its products or services.
ISO 9001 is the management system most used to instill trust and enhance customer satisfaction in the relationship between buyers and sellers.
How Does Accreditation Affect Market Competition?
Accreditation lowers risk, reduces costs and improves reputation. It also increases efficiency, productivity, sales, and profits. The importance of accreditation to globally recognized standards is increasing as a result of global market competition. It is also a marketing tool that provides an advantage by distinguishing a company from its competitors through a certified Quality Management System. The enhanced reputation increases consumer confidence and acceptance in the competitive market.
In addition, accreditation increases the level of trust that is needed for business investments. For example, the international supply chain suffers from asymmetric information among suppliers from various countries. From the economic point of view, asymmetric information occurs when one company or a party in a transaction has more information than the other party. Therefore, asymmetric information might create a business disadvantage. The accreditation resolves the asymmetric information issue by giving parties confidence over the quality of goods and services they are receiving.
Companies can signal their competence and their high level of quality by using accreditation to international standards, reinforcing their robust Quality Management System. Of course, the reputation of an accreditation body, as well as the international standards, is crucial in this process. Independent accrediting bodies confirm accreditation, which enhances trust and business confidence. This might be valuable, especially for companies who seek to enter new markets.
International standards reduce trade barriers by harmonizing business practices. Obtaining accreditation to international standards ascertains quality assurance for goods and services, and thus increases competitiveness in both international and domestic markets.
How Can Bureau Veritas Help?
Bureau Veritas is a global leader in Quality Management Systems certification services. We offer a range of accredited certifications and training such as quality, health and safety, environmental management systems (QHSE), enterprise risk, sustainability, transportation and mobility.
Our laboratories are also accredited to globally recognizable international standards through various accreditation bodies. Bureau Veritas Laboratories has an accreditation in ISO 17025, the standard for testing laboratories, and we hold 72 active certificates and licences in environmental analysis, food analysis, human and animal DNA testing, forensic equine drug testing, compressed breathing air analysis and crude oil and petroleum products.
Contact Bureau Veritas to find out what accredited services are available for you.
Authored by Pantea Niksirat – Quality Assurance Specialist