ISO/IEC 17025 enables laboratories to demonstrate that they operate competently and generate valid results, thereby promoting confidence in their work both nationally and around the world.
It also helps facilitate cooperation between laboratories and other bodies by generating wider acceptance of results between countries.
Test reports and certificates can be accepted from one country to another without the need for further testing, which, in turn, improves international trade.
ISO/IEC 17020:2012 specifies requirements for the competence of bodies performing inspection and for the impartiality and consistency of their inspection activities.
It applies to inspection bodies of type A, B or C, as defined in ISO/IEC 17020:2012, and it applies to any stage of inspection.
There are hundreds of Laboratory/Testing and Inspection accreditation bodies around the world; accredited and non-accredited.
Many non-accredited bodies are considered private (no oversight) and these companies are often referred to as accreditation mills.
Accreditation bodies accredited to ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 are routinely audited to ensure they comply with that International Standard.
A short list of accreditation bodies are:
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