What Is Accreditation?
Accreditation is the assessment of laboratories, inspection and certification institutions according to national and international technical criteria, approval of their competences and their regular inspections. In other words, it is the approval the business of private or public owned laboratories, inspection and certification institutions within the scope of relevant legislation in optional and compulsory areas according to national and international technical criteria.
Elimination of commercial restrictions as quotas, customs duty applied in international trade, prevention of negative effect of standards and technical regulations prepared with the aim of environmental protection and customer safety of the countries on international trade have emerged as a need.
In this context, with the aim of preventing the occurrence of technical obstacles; international standard institutions make arrangements preventing different standards and technical regulations for the same products. On the other hand it takes measures to carry out the experiences, inspections and certification studies made to demonstrate the qualities that meet the consumer needs and to determine the suitability of the products for related standards without differences from country to country.
World Trade Organization, European Union and some economic institutions take some measures with the aim of ensuring experiences, inspections and certification studies to be done according to international criteria.
World Trade Organization laid establishment of an accreditation system to countries signing the agreement down as a condition to provide the laboratories, inspection and certification institutions to be active according to international criteria. Moreover, in European Customs Union Agreement; the condition of compliance to applications and related legislation of EU on the subject of standardization, certification and metrology is essential.
Related national and international regulations do not have any obligation for laboratories, inspection and certification institutions to be accredited. Accreditation is based on completely voluntary basis.
However, the approaches of World Trade Organization, European Union and some economic institutions mentioned-above refer free market economies, laboratories, and inspection and certification institutions, giving conformity assessment services, to be accredited.
Accreditation gives reputation to laboratories or certification institutions. Accreditation is a situation expressing the respectability and technical competence of laboratories, inspection and certification institutions.
If the laboratories, inspection and certification institutions are accredited by a regional accreditation institution signed mutual recognition agreement or an international accreditation institution which is a member of European Accreditation Cooperation Program the documents given by the certification institutions are valid and recognized in the international arena.
Audit: All activities made with the aim of providing all required informations to result the certification/registration including determining, if the institution meet the related standards, which are the basis of certification/registration of the institution for giving certification/registration decision and revisions of documentation for the certification/registration of the institution or not, preparation and taking into consideration of revision-revision report.
Nonconformity: A situation causing significant suspicion about the quality provided by the institution according to current objective records or lack of implementation or maintenance or lack of one or more conditions of Management System.
Major (big) Nonconformity: Insufficient definition or application of any Standard articles or its sub headings. At the same time, it is the deficiencies and defects affecting healthy operation of the system.
Minor (small) Nonconformity: Nonconformities from the standard conditions of the system which do not affect the system-wide. These are individual nonconformities independent from the other factors in the level not affecting the operation of the management system to the article of examination standard of institution management system. It is the nonconformity type which doesn’t reduce the providing ability of the production and controlled process of the system which doesn’t arise from the structure of the management system. Partial nonconformities related to documented requirements or management system of the company, deviations observed in the practice of company management system.
Observation: Positive or negative written opinions related management system based on certification with the aim of providing assessment of examination committee for following examination. In case there is not any measure taken for food safety management system of the company, it has been identified on subject that may cause nonconformity and put in writing.