Frequently Asked Questions

Why calibrate?

Calibration can most simply be described as the activity where an instrument being tested is compared to a known reference value. All instruments need calibration at fixed intervals to ensure they are performing accurately.

What is the role of accreditation?

Operating in the public interest across all market sectors, accreditation determines the technical competence, reliability and integrity of conformity assessment bodies. These are organisations that check conformity and compliance with standards and regulations through testing, verification, inspection and calibration. Accreditation works through a process of transparent and impartial evaluation of these organisations against internationally recognised standards and other requirements.

Accredited conformity assessment is one tool that is helping businesses not only to comply efficiently and effectively with regulations and standards around the globe but also to gain competitive advantage from doing so and to expand into new markets, including those overseas.

What benefit does accreditation provide?

For national authorities and regulators:
With confidence in the conformity assessment process underpinned by accreditation, standards can be used to support a lighter touch approach to regulation, which in turn means that businesses spend less time tied up with bureaucracy.

Multilateral arrangements between national accreditation bodies have also helped make accreditation an internationally recognised ‘stamp of approval’ to demonstrate compliance against agreed standards and requirements. These arrangements provide governments and regulators with a credible and robust framework on which to further develop and enhance government-togovernment bilateral and multilateral international trade agreements.

For consumers:
International accreditation agreements help increase the choice of goods and services available on the market and help to ensure that these meet relevant standards of quality and safety, whatever their country of origin.

For businesses:
Holding accredited conformity assessment results shows credible evidence of conformance with national and international standards and regulations which can differentiate a business from its competitors.

As accreditation is recognised internationally, it can open doors overseas equally as well as those in the domestic market. Indeed, an increasing number of organisations in both the public and private sectors in domestic markets and overseas are specifying accredited testing, inspection or certification as a precondition to tendering for contracts.

Accredited conformity assessment can also contribute to the operational efficiency of businesses in other ways, saving time and money by reducing bureaucracy and by helping with risk management and key aspects of decision -making. For instance, it can be used as a basis on which to make efficient and informed choices about domestic suppliers and promotes confidence in imports from other countries. It can also demonstrate due diligence in the event of legal action.