Accreditation has opened the door for organizations across the globe to actively operate beyond the borders of their countries. This acceptance of internationally recognized standards ensures the production of consistent, reliable results worldwide. And by providing consistency, we can minimize risk, thus offering a better world based on dependable results. Accreditation is a risk management tool. Here you’ll discover:
• What exactly accreditation is, and A2LA’s role;
• How international standards became synonymous with managing risk; and
• Why accreditation can move you above the competition.
A2LA Participates in Accreditation, Inspiring Confidence in Results for End Users
During Risk World 2022, you’ll find numerous tools of the trade, but have you discovered how accreditation to international standards minimizes risk? Accreditation is what we do at A2LA. We accredit organizations to standards that help the organization incorporate risk-based thinking into their everyday lives.
A2LA accredits organizations based on internationally recognized standards. Accreditation is a procedure where an authoritative body, A2LA, acknowledges that an organization can fulfill certain requirements and is competent to perform specific conformity assessment tasks.
A2LA assesses organizations using criteria and procedures to evaluate the technical competence of the organization’s staff, sampling, handling, and transportation of testing items, and where the testing occurs. These criteria benefit organizations because they determine if they perform work competently and consistently to an accepted standard and maintain that competency.
Accreditation is also well-established domestically and internationally through authoritative bodies such as the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC). Therefore, results accepted in the U.S. are endorsed across the globe and vice versa. Most importantly, members of ILAC go through detailed peer evaluations to become a recognized accrediting body.
An organization that chooses to have A2LA assess them for accreditation to a recognized standard inspires confidence for the end-user because regular, impartial oversight is a motivator for continued improvement. These accredited organizations include but are not limited to testing labs, crime scene units, and reference material providers.
Above all, accreditation is a risk management tool that allows organizations to make informed decisions.
2017 Brought a Major Revision to Accreditation, Focusing on Risk Management
The international standards used for accreditation undergo regular review, leading to changes or revisions of the standard. In 2015, the most common competence standard, ISO/IEC 17025, underwent revisions. The most significant component of the modification is the introduction of risk-based thinking applied to the requirements. More specifically, aligning its’ management system elements with the already established international standard ISO 9001. Many Risk World 2022 attendees may be familiar with ISO 9001 as many quality management systems operate under its regulation. The revised standard now requires organizations to incorporate risk assessment and management into all phases of their activities. That is to say, what are the “risks” of our efforts.
Because of this change, accredited organizations minimize risk simply by conforming to the standard. Effectively incorporating risk management promotes increased productivity by decreasing the need to repeat testing. Furthermore, it allows broader acceptance of the product, process, or service.
Risk only exists if a specific outcome is uncertain. International standards factor in risk so that organizations can predict the results and minimize a potential threat before it ever becomes an issue. The revised standard gives organizations a way to improve consistently by analyzing potential risks. As you can see, accreditation offers numerous advantages for your organization. Moreover, it places you above the competition.
A Motivating Factor in Accreditation is a Competitive Advantage
Risk World 2022 is about mitigating risk and using that reduction in risk as an advantage in business. Conforming to international standards offers a competitive edge due to its risk-based thinking strategy while still allowing the flexibility to evolve. The advantage is the requirements your organization follows are more stringent than the non-accredited competition, meaning the product, process, or service is proven reliable by an impartial, unbiased standard.
That is to say, confidence in data is paramount to acceptance. Customers become confident when an organization shows them they take the necessary steps to be the best.
Consequently, accreditation is highly regarded worldwide. Through international agreements, accredited organizations further place themselves above the competition by having their results accepted in overseas markets.
Finally, accreditation provides flexibility to grow and improve—the standard acts as a guide for organizations to establish a professional culture and continuously evolve. This guide also fosters a proactive mindset in the organization, giving all a say in the growth and improvement. Subsequently, complete organizational participation leads to increased productivity. Productivity directly results from the staff’s clarity on its vision, strategies, and individual responsibilities.
By becoming an accredited organization, you let the world know you’re open for business and serious about providing the opportunity for a better world for all.