Accredia / Quality policy

Quality and impartiality policy

Always taking priority

Accredia's quality and impartiality policy is intended to ensure and foster trust in its accreditation and conformity assessment activities among all the stakeholders.

The basic principles on which Accredia’s quality and impartiality policy is based are to ensure the objectivity of its activities and to gain the trust of all the parties involved in its operations (stakeholders). Respect for these principles is achieved through the implementation of a management system in conformity with the Standard ISO/IEC 17011, with the rules established by the EA/MLA, ILAC/MRA and IAF/MRA Agreements of mutual recognition, with the provisions of Regulation CE 765/08, with the Interministerial Decree of 22 December 2009 and with Accredia’s Statute.

Accredia commits to operate with transparency and confidentiality in order to ensure impartiality, independence and the absence of any kind of discrimination in the accreditation processes. In particular, all its staff, including assessors and technical experts and members of the corporate bodies, are required to operate with independence, impartiality and objectivity. In addition, the decisions of the Sector Accreditation Committees and corporate bodies competent for the various areas of accreditation are taken independently from the conformity assessment body in question.

A central element of Accredia’s quality and impartiality policy is the Code of Ethics and Conduct, made public by the body through its website, which defines the behavioural principles to be complied with. The Code of Ethics and Conduct was drawn up also taking into account the provisions contained in Italian law on the liability of legal persons for offences committed by their employees and in the voluntary international standard on combating and preventing bribery.

Accredia has also adopted a method for assessing and managing threats to impartiality and conflicts of interest that may arise during the performance of its activities, based in particular on an in-depth risk analysis, which is periodically monitored, reviewed and updated.

The overall assessment of the results of this management is entrusted to an independent body, the Steering and Guarantee Committee (CIG), which meets periodically with the task of expressing the contribution of the Accredia Members and other interested parties concerning the “formulation of the operative policies and the good functioning of the Accreditation Body, in order to ensure the competence, transparency and impartiality of its work, as defined in the applicable normative requirements” (article 19 of the Accredia Statute). Each residual risk is analysed by the Directive Council, as Accredia’s top management body, to determine whether it can be within the acceptability threshold. In this context – opinions expressed by the CIG, and decisions taken by the Directive Council – other corporate bodies must conform: for example, the Sector Accreditation Committees, which are responsible for interrupting the accreditation processes, in cases where the conditions are not met.

Based on the values of independence, authoritativeness, impartiality, competence, transparency, and with the aim of increasing market trust in the conformity assessments issued by accredited bodies, Accredia defines and undertakes to achieve its strategic, institutional and operative objectives.

The Policy, approved by the Directive Council and the Steering and Guarantee Committee, is binding for all Accredia’s bodies and is made public on the Accredia website.

The objectives

In line with its principles, Accredia has set out strategic objectives, both institutional and operative, whereby it commits to:

  • promote, by means of information and communication activities, the diffusion of the culture of the use of conformity assessments by third parties (of laboratories, of management systems, of products, of personnel etc.), contributing to the maximum visibility of “marks”;
  • monitor the needs and expectations of Conformity Assessment Bodies and all interested parties;
  • undertake regular surveillance activities regarding the work of accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies, checking respect for the requirements, the maintenance and improvement of competences, conformity with ethical principles, and monitoring data deriving from the market (especially requests for clarification, complaints and remarks);
  • contribute towards the attainment of maximum synergy between voluntary and mandatory conformity assessment activities;
  • collaborate in the development and growth of standardization, of collaboration with the Public Administrations, with business organizations and standardization bodies;
  • safeguard the value and credibility of accredited certifications by means of rigourous controls with respect to the issue and maintenance of certifications whilst promoting the overall operative cultural growth of certified organizations;
  • verify the technical and organisational requirements of laboratories seeking accreditation so as to ensure the trustworthiness and repeatability of procedures, the use of suitable equipment, personnel competences and impartiality in the evaluation of results, promoting (where applicable) flexible scope accreditation;
  • foster the creation and maintenance of trust among clients in the activities of providers of accredited interlaboratory proficiency testing schemes as well as the impartiality and integrity of related technical and commercial operations;
  • promote the metrological traceability of measurement results as a fundamental factor in quality assurance with the aim of guaranteeing trust in calibrations, in tests and inspections carried out by accredited laboratories and inspection bodies.
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