Ensure the reliability of declarations of conformity issued by accredited bodies and laboratories, expanding the competences and areas of evaluation, promoting the competitiveness of Italian companies and the quality of their of products and services for consumers, supporting the Authorities in their regulation and surveillance of the market.
These were Accredia’s goals for the 2017, a year that confirmed the growth and consolidation of the certification, inspection, testing and calibration sectors. Currently there are 1,699 accredited bodies, including 1,168 testing laboratories, 351 certification, inspection and verification bodies and 180 calibration laboratories, which grew by 1.4% compared to 2016 and over 40% in the period 2010-2017.
The numbers of Accredia Annual report 2017 were presented during the Directive Council meeting of May 24, which confirmed Giuseppe Rossi as President and appointed the Vice Presidents, Vito Fernicola, Natalia Gil Lopez and Massimo Guasconi, for the next three years.
At the end of 2017, there were 351 certification, inspection and verification bodies, 3% more than the previous year. The most significant increases were recorded in the sectors related to the certification of products and services and the certification of professionals.
Slightly decreased the company sites with a management system certified under accreditation, that stand at 144,701 units. A moderate decrease was registered also for quality management system certifications (UNI EN ISO 9001); however, other certifications have increased, such as the environmental certification (UNI EN ISO 14001) and occupational health and safety certification (OHSAS 18001).
Also the number of testing laboratories accredited by the Testing Laboratories Department increased, rising to 1,168, 8 more than 2016, confirming the stability of the market and the confidence of operators on laboratory tests performed under accreditation.
Accreditations, including 1,150 testing laboratories, 7 medical laboratories and 11 proficiency testing providers (PTPs), outnumber in the northern regions: Lombardy (16.2%), Veneto (10.6%) and Emilia Romagna (9.4%), regions which, together with Piedmont, register 44% of accreditations. Puglia is instead the region that recorded the most significant increase in accredited laboratories compared to the previous year (+6%).
The calibration of measuring instrument sector also recorded a considerable growth in 2017. The number of laboratories accredited by the Calibration Laboratories Department reached 180 units, + 11% in the period 2010-2017. The importance that the market recognizes to the calibration and verification of instruments, aimed at ensuring the reliability of each type of measurement, is also demonstrated by the 130,000 calibration certificates issued by accredited laboratories throughout the national territory to public and private organizations.
At a regional level, Lombardy recorded the highest number of calibration certificates (over 69,000), followed by Emilia Romagna (over 19,000) and Piedmont (around 12,000). The region that has grown the most in 2017 is Tuscany with 1,400 certificates more than in 2016.