Accreditation has many benefits, and this annual event organised by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) aims to highlight those advantages.
The 2020 World Accreditation Day theme spotlights the role accreditation plays in “Improving Food Safety”. This follows a joint statement issued in April 2019 by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) highlighting the effect that food borne diseases have on human safety. More information about 2020 World Accreditation Day (including a short video and booklet) can be found via this link.
But what is accreditation and what is its purpose?
In simple terms, accreditation can be explained as the process of officially recognizing that an organization is qualified to perform a specific activity, after which they are known as a Conformity Assessment Body (CAB). The objective of accreditation is to assure businesses, end users and regulators that a CAB (such as a certification body, an inspection body, or a testing, calibration or medical laboratory) has the required technical competence and operates impartially; this is assessed by accreditation bodies against international standards and requirements.
In a constantly evolving industry, Cotecna demonstrates its technical competences through three important accreditations:
- ISO 17020 Inspection Management System: competency-based management system focusing on the competence of inspectors, with requirements related to recruitment, training and performance monitoring. Cotecna holds a group accreditation covering specific inspection activities globally, together with local accreditations in various countries to cover additional competences relevant to these businesses.
- ISO 17025 Laboratory Management System: competency-based management system focusing on testing, from identification of the test methods and authorization of analysts, to dealing with uncertainties in respect of test results. All of Cotecna’s laboratories are either accredited to this standard, or in the process of obtaining it.
- ISO 17065 Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services: focuses on identification of standards, assessment of evidence to determine the level of conformity, through to any ongoing surveillance that must be carried out to ensure continued conformity with those standards. Cotecna’s offices in India and Dubai have already achieved this accreditation, with Turkey in the pipeline for 2020, allowing us to demonstrate our competence in this area.
With specific reference to food safety, Cotecna’s competence is centred on three member companies: Neotron, Nofalab, and Shiva Analyticals, providing a strong platform for expansion into this increasingly important sector. Full details of all of Cotecna’s accreditations and capabilities can be found on the Certifications & Accreditations page of our website.