According to ISO / IEC 17000 (2004), accreditation is an attestation issued by a third party, having regard to a conformity assessment body, constituting a formal recognition of its competence to carry out Specific conformity assessment activities.
In other words, accreditation is a certificate issued by a third party and relates to a conformity assessment body. This certificate is issued after an in-depth audit based on internationally recognized requirements and provides a formal demonstration of the competence of the organization to perform specific conformity assessment tasks.
Through accreditation, laboratories, inspection and certification bodies are able to provide evidence of their technical competence, but also their independence and impartiality.
A product or service accompanied by a report issued by an accredited body will therefore have greater credibility and its acceptance by the markets will be facilitated.
In a world that is making great strides towards globalization, the free movement of goods, people and services has become indispensable. However, the removal of trade barriers must necessarily be based on the certainty that the services and products traded meet the specific requirements.
Consumers demand confidence in the quality of products and services (starting with health and safety) and want to live in an environment that is protected.
Companies need assurance that conformity attestations (test reports, calibration, inspection, certificates and similar documents) on which their business is based are reliable.
Legislators must be assured that assessments of compliance with regulatory requirements are carried out effectively and with all required competencies.
In this context, it is essential to promote the confidence of economic actors as well as the authorities in charge of market control with regard to documents issued by conformity assessment bodies (laboratory, inspection bodies and Certification). Through accreditation, these documents become actual technical passports associated with a product or service.
The accreditation of conformity assessment bodies is carried out on the basis of the Tunisian or international standards in force and the corresponding ISO / IEC guides. Candidates for accreditation thus have a strong guarantee of the assessments to which they are subjected, by means of qualified evaluators and experts. The conformity assessment bodies concerned by the accreditation shall be :
• Laboratories for analysis, testing and calibration according to ISO / IEC 17025,
• Medical laboratory analysis laboratories according to ISO / IEC 15189
• Certification bodies
- Certification produced according to ISO / IEC Guide 65,
- Certification of systems according to ISO / IEC 17021,
- Certification of persons according to ISO / IEC 17024.
• Inspection bodies according to ISO / IEC 17020
Most accreditors base their accreditations on the same ISO standards. This standardized approach allows countries to enter into agreements based on the mutual evaluation and acceptance of their respective accreditation systems, known as mutual recognition agreements (MLAs). These agreements are essential for the acceptance of certificates, reports and test and calibration data on both sides. Indeed, each country signing an MLA recognizes the accredited conformity assessment bodies of its partner, as if it had itself accredited.
Aware of the advantages of such recognition agreements, TUNAC was the first Arab accreditation body and the second African to sign a bilateral recognition agreement with the European Accreditation Organization (EA) and an agreement Mutual recognition with the International Organization of Laboratory Accreditation (ILAC) in the field of analyzes, testing and calibration.If a mutual recognition agreement with the International Accrediation Forum IAF in the field of Accreditation of certification bodies for quality and environmental management systems. From now on, taking the example of a Tunisian laboratory, its accreditation for analysis, testing and calibration by TUNAC Is equivalent, its accreditation by any accredited counterpart Member of EA and ILAC.
The benefits of this recognition are tangible. Reports and certificates issued by organizations accredited under TUNAC, based on common criteria in many countries, will no longer have to be validated in each export market. Consequently, the cost of trust is limited, but the level is not lowered and multiple barriers and controls are avoided.
The accreditation thus constitutes an international opening and an excellent pass for the export markets and contributes effectively to the economic development
Where the two accreditation bodies are signatories to the same mutual recognition agreements for the same scope, their accreditations have the same value.
Yes, TUNAC accreditation of laboratories or certification bodies for management systems is recognized internationally. TUNAC is a signatory of the mutual recognition agreements with EA and ILAC for the accreditation of laboratories and with IAF for the accreditation of certifications for management systems and the quality of the environment.
Any organization based on a national territory can only be accredited by the national accreditation body, except in special cases, in accordance with the cross-border policy defined by ILAC-IAF.
For more information, you can consult the cross-border policy documents on the ILAC and IAF sites.