Environmental Management Systems – Your A – Z guide


Accreditation is the basis by which an authoritative body gives formal recognition that a body or person is competent to carry out specific tasks. For organisations that provide verification, certification and inspection services; accreditation forms the third party assessment that ensures conformity with internationally recognised standards.

EN ISO/IEC 17000:2004 defines accreditation as:
“Third-party attestation related to a conformity assessment body conveying formal demonstration of its competence to carry out specific conformity assessment tasks”.

The primary purpose of accreditation is to ensure that certification/registration bodies are subject to oversight by an authoritative body. Accreditation reduces risk and provides assurance for government, business and customers by ensuring, through regular surveillance, that certification/registration bodies are both independent and competent.

The roles of the key EMS accreditation bodies are given below. Please click the links to find out more.