World Accreditation Day 2011
Supporting the work of Regulators
June 9th 2011 marked World Accreditation Day, a global initiative jointly established by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) to raise awareness of the importance of accreditation-related activities.
As in previous years, the day was celebrated across the world with the hosting of major national events, seminars, and press and media coverage, to communicate the value of accreditation to Government, Regulators and the leaders of the business community.
The theme of the day this year was focused on how accreditation is used to support the work of Regulators. Nationally, there is greater recognition of accreditation, in particular from Regulators, who are adopting accreditation as a mechanism to deliver a multi-discipline solution that can support or act as an alternative to Legislation.
In complex and highly competitive markets, confidence is required when products or services are traded between economies. Such reassurance is underpinned by accreditation. Governments and Regulators, have come to appreciate the importance of credible accreditation programs that are based on internationally-recognised standards. With restricted budgets, many Regulators can no longer do it all themselves and increasingly, they must rely on third-party organisations to support their regulatory objectives. When they do so, they need a fair and meaningful basis for identifying qualified and competent providers. Accreditation provides this declaration of competence.
The influence and use of accreditation continues to grow across a wide range of economies and domestic policy areas. This was highlighted in a survey of the ILAC membership in 2010, which confirmed the growing use of accreditation by Regulators in all the 55 economies that responded.
However, there are still many more policy areas in which accreditation could be introduced as an alternative to regulation from healthcare, health and safety management, education, and waste management, to name but a few.
World Accreditation Day provides an excellent opportunity for the accreditation community to extend its influence and demonstrate how accreditation can be applied to a wide variety of assessment, approval or evaluation tasks that can be used to address a wide range of Regulatory requirements.