9 June will mark World Accreditation Day, a global initiative, jointly established by IAF and ILAC, to raise awareness of the importance of accreditation. The theme of World Accreditation Day 2018 focuses on how accreditation delivers a safer world.
Providing a safe working environment should not be seen as a regulatory burden, but as a way to:
- reduce costs
- lower employee absence and turnover rates
- suffer fewer accidents
- lessen the threat of legal action
- protect reputation for corporate responsibility among investors and customers
- increase productivity through a healthier and better motivated workforce
Accreditation is the independent evaluation of these conformity assessment bodies against recognised standards to carry out specific activities to ensure their integrity, impartiality and competence. Through the application of national and international standards, government departments, businesses and wider society can therefore have confidence in the calibration and test results, inspection reports and certifications provided.
What benefit does accreditation provide?
For Government and regulators
The role of Government and Regulatory bodies is to ensure that businesses provide a safe working environment. They can set policy or technical requirements for products or services that are placed in the market, and rely on accredited conformity assessment bodies to verify compliance with those requirements.
Businesses can demonstrate compliance with best practice by implementing a health and safety management system in order to: l Improve reputation and increase opportunities to gain new business l Minimise risks of downtime through accidents l Demonstrate commitment with legal obligations l Achieve potential cost savings from public liability insurance premiums l Attract and retain staff
Working for a company that has implemented an occupational health and safety management standard sends a clear signal to employees and stakeholders that they view employees’ health and safety as a priority within the organisation. It will identify risks and ensure a safe working environment.
Public confidence can be gained from goods or services that are accompanied by an accredited certificate of conformity. International accreditation agreements ensure that such goods and services placed on the market, from which ever country of origin, meet standards of quality and safety.