Independence, objectivity and impartiality
The European legal framework and the international standard ISO/IEC 17011 are the essential requirements for operations as an accreditation body.
Legal requirements of Regulation (EC) Nr. 765/2008
The accreditation body is legally obliged to guarantee its independence, objectivity and impartiality on a permanent basis. Pursuant to Article 8 (1) of Regulation (EC) No 765/2008, it must be independent of the conformity assessment bodies it assesses and of commercial pressures in order to ensure that conflicts of interest with accredited conformity assessment bodies cannot occur. Pursuant to Article 8 (2) of this European Regulation, the accreditation body safeguards its objectivity and impartiality through its organisation and work practices.
Normative requirements of DIN EN ISO/IEC 17011
The legal requirements for independence, objectivity and impartiality are set out in greater detail for the accreditation body by the normative requirements of DIN EN ISO/IEC 17011. As a national accreditation body in Europe, DAkkS must demonstrate that it meets these criteria in a peer evaluation carried out on a regular basis. This is reviewed by the European Cooperation for Accreditation (EA).
Objectivity and impartiality of staff
DAkkS is organised to ensure that its staff and the assessors, experts and committees appointed can maintain their independence with regard to the client’s commercial interests. They are not subject to any pressures or influences that could negatively impact their judgment. The impartiality of the assessors and experts appointed is defined in the respective contracts and in the guidelines for the appointment and commissioning of assessors and experts. All full-time and external employees of DAkkS are required to promptly notify management of any potential conflicts of interest.
Confidentiality in cooperation
DAkkS guarantees that company, client and personal information and data is treated confidentially. To ensure data protection, DAkkS has appointed a data protection officer.
All full-time and external employees of DAkkS, members of DAkkS committees and all other persons who obtain knowledge of accreditation cases or receive other information as a result of their roles are required to treat this information in confidence. These obligations are either set out in employment contracts, internal regulations or procedure descriptions, or included in separate confidentiality agreements.
The obligation of confidentiality may be removed in special cases with the agreement of the conformity assessment bodies. A declaration of consent is not required if, for example, DAkkS is required by law to provide information and the affected party has been informed in this regard. In this case, DAkkS will notify the affected contractor of the provision of such information.
Members of DAkkS committees may be excluded from the transfer of certain information if such disclosure contravenes the requirements of DIN EN ISO/IEC 17011 (for example in the event of a potential conflict of interest).
DAkkS is subject to the technical supervision of the responsible ministries, whereby the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) assumes a leadership role. The design of the supervision function ensures the independence and impartiality of accreditation decisions.
In addition, DAkkS also applies the federal government’s Public Corporate Governance Code. This Code contains the key provisions of applicable law governing the management and surveillance of companies in which the Federal Republic of Germany holds an interest. Internationally and nationally recognised standards of good and responsible corporate governance also constitute part of the Public Corporate Governance Code.