Do you need help with the definition, design and development of an assessment scheme?
- Have you outsourced or are seeking to outsource control over your organisation's suppliers or franchisees to independent control bodies?
- Do independent companies inspect your products to ensure that what you have received is exactly what you ordered?
- Do you sell products manufactured by third parties under your brand and wish to confirm the quality and safety of these products without incurring additional costs?
- Have you drawn up or are you looking to draw up a document establishing requirements to be used by external organisations to assess their compliance?
- Do you have to take decisions based on the information you receive from evaluation bodies?
- Are you a regulator that needs to be sure of the competence of the organisations that monitor compliance with requirements?
In all these situations, it is vital to ensure that the control bodies you use have the required competence to carry out the tasks with which they are charged and, in many cases, that their activities are recognised internationally and in line with universally recognised operating methods. However, evaluating this competence and exercising proper control over these bodies can be a problem for your organisation or require excessive use of resources.
If this is your situation, accreditation will very likely provide you with solutions to help.
Tell us about your situation and we will determine whether the accreditation schemes we work with are suited to your needs or if they will require adaptation.
The above situations are examples of what are known as "Conformity Assessment Schemes (CAS)". These schemes:
- Identify something that needs to be assessed: a product, process, service, company or person.
- Identify a set of requirements that this 'thing' must meet.
- Identify the method for evaluating it (test, calibration, certification, inspection, verification, etc.).
- Identify who is going to carry out this evaluation.
The entity that identifies each of these aspects and manages the CAS is the Scheme Owner.
Examples of the types of organisations that develop and manage CAS include:
- The organisations that take out services provided by the Assessors.
- The organisations that purchase products subject to conformity assessment activities or which may be affected by non-compliance.
- Manufacturers and their associations.
- Organisations set up specifically for this purpose.
Conformity assessment schemes contribute all their benefits if they are properly defined and their operation is based on the performance of assessment bodies that have demonstrated specific competence in this scheme
BRC, GLOBALGAP, IFS: international schemes whose owners are large distribution companies (supermarkets) from different countries that require certain products to be certified by accredited certification companies.
Aerospace scheme: international scheme owned by the association of aerospace materials manufacturers, which require all companies manufacturing aircraft parts to have a quality system certified in accordance with a specific standard and by accredited certification bodies.
FACE: national scheme. The scheme owner, the Federation of Coeliac Associations of Spain (FACE) is the owner of a mark used to identify products that are suitable for coeliacs. Products bearing the mark must be certified by a certifier accredited for this scheme.
State Ports: national scheme. Certain subsidies are available to companies that provide services at ports that can only be accessed if the company has certified its services with a certifier accredited for this purpose.
Testing laboratories for the approval of products specifically for Defence: national scheme. The scheme owner is the Directorate-General for Armament and Materials of the Ministry of Defence. It sets out certain details for laboratory assessments to ensure that their tests can later be accepted in approvals processes.
So, if your organisation is responsible for determining policies with some form of independent assessment, ENAC can help you to outline your needs and design an assessment service.
Conversely, if you already have a CAS but the conformity assessors you use are not accredited or not accredited for your specific scheme, you will probably want to enhance their national and international reliability and recognition by requesting an assessment by ENAC.
Whatever your situation, do not hesitate to write to us at the following e-mail address to discuss your particular case