The different types of conformity assessment bodies and the relevant standards.
Who is accredited? Types of conformity assessment bodies
DAkkS accredits conformity assessment bodies. These bodies are diverse and range from multinational companies carrying out all types of conformity assessment activities to local specialised providers.
All conformity assessment bodies have one thing in common – their competence to properly test services, processes and products. The basis for the accreditation of the various types of conformity assessment bodies are internationally recognised standards, which set out the requirements under which DAkkS accredits the bodies.
Conformity assessment bodies at a glance
The services of testing laboratories are important in many different sectors of the economy. The spectrum ranges from food safety, mechanical engineering and telecommunications to the testing of electromagnetic compatibility. DAkkS accredits testing laboratories in accordance with DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025, the international standard for laboratory operation and management.
The purpose of the work of calibration laboratories is to determine display and indication errors of instruments and measuring systems and the values of measurement samples. The aim is to ensure accurate and reliable measurement results. As for testing laboratories, the accreditation of calibration laboratories is in accordance with DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025.
The work of medical laboratories focuses on the analysis of biological materials. Medical laboratories often provide the basis for medical diagnoses. The accreditation of medical laboratories is in accordance with the standard DIN EN ISO 15189.
Inspection bodies are concerned with the regular inspection of existing systems and the documentation of their condition. The most widely known example is probably the inspection bodies in the motor vehicle sector. The international standard for inspection bodies is DIN EN ISO/IEC 17020.
Certification bodies are conformity assessment bodies that certify compliance with standards in various areas. Certifications are offered in the following areas:
Certification bodies for persons
The main focus of the work of certification of persons is on verifying compliance with training standards, for example for technical experts. The relevant international standard for certification bodies for persons is DIN EN ISO/IEC 17024.
Certification bodies for management systems
Conformity assessment bodies in this area certify management systems, such as quality, occupational safety or environmental management systems. The international standard for certification bodies for management systems is DIN EN ISO/IEC 17021-1.
Certification bodies for products, processes and services
Product, process or service certification can only take place within the framework of a certification scheme, which determines the products, processes or services to be certified and the specified requirements they must fulfil. The certification scheme also specifies the types and combinations of conformity assessment techniques used to assess the product, process or service. The relevant international standards for product, process or service certification bodies is DIN EN ISO/IEC 17065.
Validation and verification bodies
Verification and validation bodies carry out tests in the area of greenhouse gas emissions. Their conformity assessment relates primarily to the accuracy and conformity of the declarations made by companies concerning greenhouse gas emissions within the framework of the EU emissions trading system. The relevant standard for the work of validation and verification bodies is DIN EN ISO 14065.
Proficiency testing providers
Providers of proficiency testing assess conformity within the framework of interlaboratory comparisons. An interlaboratory comparison is a measurement or testing assignment carried out by several laboratories independently of one another using previously defined criteria. The comparative tests are carried out by accredited bodies in accordance with DIN EN ISO/IEC 17043.
Reference material producers
Accreditations in this area certify the competence of organisations to produce certified reference materials. Reference materials are used as criteria and benchmarks for measurement procedures. They are therefore indispensable for testing or monitoring. The conformity assessment in this area takes place in the course of the production process for the reference materials. The accreditation determines the competence of the producer within the framework of the DIN EN ISO 17034 standard.
Biobanks collect, process and store biological materials and make these biomaterials available to the users of the biobank together with defined information on the materials. Since the beginning of September 2019, it has been possible for these providers to seek accreditation as a biobank in accordance with ISO 20387, for the entire process from the collection of the sample to distribution of the materials, including the associated data.