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What is a conformity assessment according to ISO 17020?

Did you know that ISO 17020 Conformity assessment inspection organizations that evaluate the dependability and quality of the goods and services offered by businesses require their regulatory certification?

The ISO 17020 Certification standard covers which guarantees the proficiency of the inspection bodies and the objectivity and consistency of their inspection activities.

The ISO 17020 Conformity assessment standard specifies several types of organizations that carry out inspections, surveys, and risk evaluations. The standard has classified the accreditation/inspection bodies into Type A, Type B, and Type C classes based on the services they provide.

The international standard addresses several tasks performed by inspection organizations, such as:

  • The investigation of components, goods, facilities, operations, methods, or services.
  • Determining whether the inspected services and goods comply with the relevant requirements.

Reporting to clients and authorities the outcomes of the actions taken in the first two steps.

ISO 9001 vs. ISO 17020 Conformity Assessment differences

Although they are two independent standards, ISO 17020 and ISO 9001 are close enough to frequently be misunderstood or lumped together. Any organization wishing to conduct inspections for organizations, clients, or authorities must adhere to ISO 17020 conformity assessment standard.

The ISO 9001 certification, on the other hand, is a global benchmark for quality management systems that businesses may use to prove they can deliver goods and services that adhere to legal and customer criteria.

Requirements for ISO 17020 Conformity Assessment Accreditation

The ISO 17020 conformity assessment accreditation has the same level of specifications as the ISO/IEC 17000 series, which also includes ISO/IEC 9001, ISO/IEC 17025 (for testing and calibration laboratories), and ISO/IEC 17065. But it places more emphasis on the capacity of accreditation authorities to control objectivity, conflicts of interest, the body’s technical competence, and inspection services and procedures.

The accreditation equips the certifying organizations with the skills necessary to exercise professional judgment while conducting inspections, particularly when determining whether certain requirements are being met.

The list of requirements that the inspection agency must meet is divided into five main categories:

Basic general requirements, including:

  • Independent and impartial
  • Confidentiality

Structural requirements include:

  • Needs for administration
  • Management and organization

Resource requirements include:

  • Personnel
  • Infrastructure and apparatus
  • Subcontracting

Process requirements include:

  • Techniques and procedures for inspection
  • Handling the objects and samples for inspection
  • Examination reports
  • Inspection findings and certifications
  • Appeals and grievances
  • Processes for complaints and appeals

Requirements for management systems, include:

  • Documentation of the management system
  • Documentation management
  • In charge of records
  • Internal audits and management reviews
  • Preventative and corrective measures

The Value of Having a Documented ISO 17020 Conformity Assessment Accreditation

Global momentum and acceptance: The ILAC and IAF acknowledge the ISO 17020 Accreditation, which improves the perception of inspection bodies for their superior inspection services on the international market.

Technical capability of individuals and processes: The accreditation keeps track of and guarantees the technical proficiency of the inspection bodies’ quality management systems. This enables them to increase organizational trust in their decisions made during inspection processes and outcomes.

Reliable tools and outcomes: The compliance standard gives equipment maintenance and inspection records better direction and control, which results in impartial, accurately assessed, and unbiased inspection outcomes. If any corrective action has been taken for certification, this also gives a more accurate reflection of that.

Saving money and lowering risk: ISO 17020 Conformity Assessment Accreditation lessens or eliminates the need for re-inspection or rework, which cuts down on the amount of time and money lost during inspections.

Customer satisfaction and trust: The compliance standard directs inspection bodies to make consistent, unbiased decisions during the inspection process. It boosts client confidence in the effectiveness of their quality management system, the caliber of their goods and services, and the dependability of their outcomes.

ISO 17020 Conformity Assessment with Ascent ASSOCIATES

An inspection body accreditation is provided by ISO 17020 compliance. It encompasses all tasks carried out by an inspection body, such as inspecting goods, tools, techniques, and services to assess their general conformance and the accuracy of their results report. We provide businesses with a customizable and personalized package that can help with any accreditation process. Ascent Associates provide relevant training to all levels of employees about the implementation and knowledge of ISO 17020 Certification in Sri Lanka.

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