An inspection performed by an accredited inspection body gathers information on the status of conformity at a given moment. It can include controls, product measurements or tests, document exams, the comparison of results against the requirements or sector best practices.
In a broader context, an inspection audit may be used as a surveillance activity in a product certification scheme, coming before maintenance; or it may provide information with respect to the item inspected, without any declaration of conformity.
In some cases an inspection audit may overlap with a test or certification audit, but what distinguishes it is the possibility – which often occurs – of receiving a professional opinion from the inspector of the acceptability of the inspected item against the general requirements. The CAB must have the necessary competences to do this.
Inspection bodies are classified as belonging to Type A, Type B or Type C, depending upon the extent of their independence. Demonstrable independence can strengthen trust among clients in the body’s ability to perform impartial audits.
Third party bodies which are totally independent of the inspected item.
First and/or second party bodies, separate and identifiable, of a parent organization, active in designing, maintaining, marketing, installing and using the inspected item.
First and/or second party bodies, which are identifiable but not necessarily separate, of a parent organization active in designing, maintaining, marketing, installing and using the inspected item.