- UKAS CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SURVEY
The results of the UKAS customer satisfaction survey for the last quarter of 2012 are available through the following link:
- ABCB CONTINUING TO PROMOTE NATIONALLY ACCREDITED CERTIFICATION
Recently it came to the Association’s notice that in Northern Ireland the Buildsafe-NI Action Plan had a requirement that all contractors seeking to tender for public sector works contracts shall have a health and safety management system certified by a third party.
Government Construction Clients shall recognise third party certification of a health and safety management system, provided:
- It is based upon ILO OSH 2001; BSI’s OHSAS 18001 and 18002; BS 18004; HSG 65 or equivalent.
- It is construction focused and incorporates site inspections.
- The third party certification body is accredited and /or is recognised by a professional health and safety body or institution as having the knowledge and skill to undertake construction focused third party health and safety audits.
Unfortunately a number of the certification bodies on their list of health and safety certification scheme providers were not accredited by a national accreditation body, such as UKAS. ABCB passed this information to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills who liaised with the appropriate Northern Ireland government department. Action has now been taken to ensure that in the future only certification bodies accredited by UKAS or another national accreditation body will be included in the list of health and safety scheme providers.
- CAMPAIGNING AGAINST MISREPRESENTATION AND MISLEADING CLAIMS
It came to the Association’s notice that there was a certification organisation using the name ISO in its company name. It was quite likely that some people reading this organisation’s web site and promotional literature could believe that it was part of ISO. This organisation was not accredited by a national accreditation body.
The ISO acronym is owned by the International Organisation for Standardisation and its use is carefully controlled. ABCB passed details of this organisation to ISO, who in conjunction with BSI, were successful forcing the organisation to change its name and cease using the ISO acronym.
The Association also became aware of a certification body in India that was claiming, on its website, to be accredited by UKAS, JAS-ANZ (the joint Australia/New Zealand national accreditation body) and KAN (the Indonesian national accreditation body). All three accreditation bodies were advised of these misleading claims and they contacted the certification body in question which has now removed all references to these accreditations from their website.
- The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills issues guidance to UK businesses encouraging them to use nationally accredited certification.
ABCB has been successful in prompting the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) to state the UK Government's support for UKAS accredited certification. BIS has published a statement on its website in which it encourages UK businesses, Government and local authorities seeking third party certification to do so with a certification body that is accredited by the UK's national accreditation body, UKAS.
Accreditation is covered by a European Regulation EC 765/2008 which requires each EU Member State to appoint a national accreditation body. The UK Government has appointed the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) as the UK's national accreditation body. Article 7(1) of this regulation states that;
- 'Where a conformity assessment body requests accreditation it shall do so with the national accreditation body of the Member State in which it is established or with the national accreditation body to which the Member State has recourse in accordance with Article 4(2)'
BIS has clarified the position, under Regulation 765, of certification bodies that are claiming to be accredited by organisations other than UKAS or other national accreditation bodies appointed by Member States. They state that:
- 'Accreditation within the meaning of the Regulation (765) can only be obtained (in the UK) from the United Kingdom Accreditation Service by virtue of the Regulation.
- An organisation therefore that is suggesting it is accredited in the sense of the Regulation when they are not is likely to be guilty of an offence under the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations (2008).'
The full content of the BIS statement can be viewed through the following link: www.bis.gov.uk/
- The government response to consultation on transforming regulatory enforcement
In the middle of 2011 the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills issued a consultation document on transforming regulatory enforcement. ABCB responded to the consultation to promote the use of accredited certification to support regulatory enforcement. The executive summary of the government's response to the consultation recognizes the opportunity for certification and accreditation to contribute to a co-regulation approach and states:
- 'There is a huge untapped potential for business and others to be more involved – co-designing enforcement strategies with the regulator, using certification or accreditation so as to tailor regulation with the business in mind, rather than the state – and, while a start has been made, we need to see more.'
The full government response can be accessed through the following link http://www.bis.gov.uk/ (pdf)
- UKAS CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SURVEY
The results of the UKAS customer satisfaction survey for the last quarter of 2011 are available through the following link
- MISLEADING CLAIMS BY THE UNIVERSAL ACCREDITATION FORUM
An organisation calling itself the Universal Accreditation Federation are claiming that UKAS and a number of other Internal Accreditation Forum (IAF) signatories are amongst their members. This is not the case, UKAS and other IAF members have no knowledge of this organisation and no affiliation with them as claimed.
The Universal Accreditation Federation website www.uniaf.com lists accreditation bodies it claims are its members. Amongst the list of members is the Australian Accreditation Council www.auscouncil.com which is not a recognised accreditation body either in Australia or internationally. JAS-ANZ is the internationally recognised accreditation body of Australia and New Zealand and a member of IAF. The Australian Accreditation Council list of accredited certification bodies appears to be a copy of the register of JAS-ANZ accredited certification bodies.
IAF will consider what action it would be appropriate to take at its forthcoming meeting in Frankfurt in April.