Inspection Body Accreditation
The international standard ISO/IEC 17020:2012 defines inspection as the “examination of a product, process, service, or installation or design and determination of its conformity with specific requirements or, on the basis of professional judgment, with general requirements”. Inspection can take place at all stages of the inspected item's lifecycle (including the design phase) and may include matters of quantity, quality, safety and fitness for use. Such work normally requires the exercise of professional judgment, in particular when assessing conformity. The inspection body field of accreditation also encompasses industry specific programs.
JANAAC recognizes the very close relationship between inspection, sampling, laboratory testing and measurement. We understand, however, that inspection encompasses a variety of activities not covered in laboratory accreditation. These activities include examinations by qualified personnel of materials, products, components, assemblies, cargoes and consignments using techniques such as:
- Visual examination
- Visual comparison with standards (e.g. colour matching)
- Dimensional checks
- Examination using gauges and instruments
- Virtual evaluations
An inspection body may also participate in testing, measurement or sampling and may apply for accreditation in multiple fields concurrently.
Inspection bodies are assessed against the general criteria found within ISO/IEC 17020:2012 Requirements for the Operation of Various Types of Bodies Performing Inspection and ILAC P15-Application of ISO/IEC 17020 for the Accreditation of Inspection Bodies. Inspection bodies are also expected to be in compliance with local legislation and regulations.