What Is Accreditation?

Accreditation is a formal, independent verification that a program or institution meets established quality standards and is competent to carry out specific conformity assessment tasks. Conformity assessment tasks may include, but are not limited to, testing, inspection, or certification.

 

Typically, governmental regulatory agencies such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) require accreditation to verify the technical competence of organizations like laboratories, inspection bodies, and certification agencies.

Organizations responsible for public safety and welfare such as building departments, hospitals, schools, and police and fire departments also seek accreditation to demonstrate their competence and reliability.

Accreditation has been used for over 50 years as the definitive means of evaluating organizations and is now utilized by all the world’s major economies and many developing economies.