Digital accreditation symbol as a component of trustworthy international chains of evidence
Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle (DAkkS) is currently actively working to raise awareness of the digital accreditation symbol among international partners, with a view to paving the way for worldwide use of the digital accreditation symbol. Accreditation therefore contributes to the reduction of technical barriers to trade and facilitates the implementation of global, digital and trustworthy chains of evidence. Dr.-Ing. Stephan Finke, Chief Executive Officer of DAkkS, welcomed representatives of a Brazilian delegation to a working meeting in Berlin.
As a key stakeholder in the German quality infrastructure, DAkkS participates in the Global Project Quality Infrastructure (GPQI) initiative of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) and is currently initiating interoperability tests for the digital accreditation symbol in the country components China, Brazil, India, Indonesia and Mexico. The goal of the tests is to show that in the future, national accreditation bodies around the world will have the technical ability to read the digital accreditation symbol and that it can be accepted as digital proof of accreditation.
Dr.-Ing. Stephan Finke, Chief Executive Officer of DAkkS, welcomed Luiz Fernando Rust, Director for Scientific Metrology and Technology, and Jorge Antonio da Paz Cruz, Coordinator for International Articulation, as representatives of a Brazilian business delegation to a working meeting and exchange of experiences.
“The tests with other international partners are an important step towards clearing the way for the international application of eAttestation, and together tackling challenges in accreditation and digitalisation. We had an intensive exchange of views with our Brazilian colleagues about the function and use of the digital accreditation symbol and we agree that a tool of this kind makes an important contribution to verifying the mutual recognition of proof of conformity in the digital space and strengthening trust in digitally issued certificates,” says Dr.-Ing. Stephan Finke, summarising the results of the meeting.
Strengthening the equivalence of digital trade documents
The digital accreditation symbol fits seamlessly into the recently launched initiative of the G20 countries to promote paperless transactions in international trade and to press ahead with recognition of the equivalence of digital trade documents with their paper equivalents. The digital accreditation symbol is an important step towards the digitisation of trade documents and the digitisation of industrial processes, for example in the context of Industry 4.0. Interoperability tests are intended to prevent the creation of new barriers to trade through use of digital tools.
What is the DAkkS digital accreditation symbol?
The digital accreditation symbol is based on an electronic seal, a kind of company stamp with additional accreditation information. Its use is comparable to the use of digital signatures by natural persons, which means that the digital accreditation symbol enables the correct provision of evidence of accreditation in the digital space. From 30 March 2024, accredited bodies can apply for the digital accreditation symbol and put the applications into practice.
What is the Global Project Quality Infrastructure?
With the GPQI, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action has been promoting the international harmonisation of quality infrastructure since 2017. With the support of GIZ, the German Society for International Cooperation, the project is currently being implemented in five countries (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico). Through continuous bilateral technical dialogues, the GPQI supports the reduction of technical barriers to trade and the improvement of product safety. The instrument of accreditation makes an important contribution to the worldwide acceptance of conformity assessment results and helps to promote international trade. DAkkS has therefore been actively involved in the GPQI for many years.