Skip to content

Accreditation, open systems

Accreditation is an international system of common law in the EU. According to the EU Regulation (EC) 765/2008 each country has a national accreditation body appointed by the government.

In Sweden, it is laboratories, certification and inspection bodies that assess whether products and services comply with regulatory standards requirements. To be able to rely on the assessments done in an independent and competent manner Swedac issues accreditations and perform surveillance of them.

Earlier there were state monopolies that performed tests, but today accreditations are performed in an open system. This means that every body with an accreditation may perform the specific tasks they are accredited for. Open systems are today the rule for countries within the EU.

According to agreements between accreditation bodies can testing, calibration, certification and inspection be carried out by an accredited body approved in other countries. That means benefits for manufacturers who do not need help to try and certify products again for exports, and for purchasers who can trust any certificates issued in another country. The collaboration is developing and more and more countries accedes to the agreements.

Accreditation bodies in Europe co-operate in cross border assessments. In such cases, the requirements in (EC) 765/2008 and in the EA framework of rules must be followed. The basic is that national accreditation bodies in Europe perform assessments within their own national borders. Swedac has a policy describing how it will act in different situations which may occur.