Accreditation is sometime described as 'auditing the auditors'
Accreditation is better described as a 'competency assessment' rather than an audit. You may feel that I am splitting hairs, stay with me for a few more paragraphs and I'll lay out why that is important.
First of all, let's focus on what competency means. Some folks think that a qualification to do a job is based on your education; in my case, I spent 2
Competency is determined by demonstrating that a task or set of tasks can be done to a specified level of performance. In essence, it means the ability to do a job.
To assess the competency of a conformity assessment body (CAB) the AB looks at the systems, process and procedures used as well as how they are executed. Accreditation is granted to a CAB that demonstrates its competency in conducting
The areas that an AB would examine include a wide range of elements such as:
- maintaining professional relationships with clients;
- ensuring that all the staff of a CAB are competent to do their jobs;
- the frequency and quality of the training and evaluation of auditors;
- planning and executing audits;
- ensuring that non-conformities are addressed;
- taking certification decisions;
- conducting regular management reviews and internal audits of CAB operations;
- and a host of other elements.
Conducting an accreditation assessment is a specialized business, it is not just determining if the results of audits against your standard are producing the results you want.