New version of ISO/IEC 17011 considers risk-oriented approach as a basic principle for accreditation bodies’ activity

October 02, 2017

Deputy Head of RusAccreditation Alexandr Litvak took part in a training event for the personnel of accreditation bodies to review the new version of ISO/IEC 17011 organized by Asia-Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) in Hong Kong.

During the training event, changes in the management system of the accreditation body, personnel, assessments and decision-making and ensuring of impartiality were reviewed. Particular attention was paid to the risk-oriented approach applied during the activity of accreditation body as the basic work principle.

In order to apply ISO/IEC17011, the definition of conformity assessment activities has been expanded, which includes (but is not limited to) such activities as testing, inspection services, management system certification, personnel certification, product certification, and calibration, proficiency testing, reference standards, validation and verification.

The standard introduced a number of definitions, the most significant of which are: "remote assessment", "observation", "assessment methods", "conformity assessment activities", "assessment program, "accreditation process”, "accreditation body decision", "accreditation scheme" and "maintenance of accreditation".

The new version provides that the accreditation body undertakes to assess the risks related to its activities, the need to establish policies on the use of the accreditation symbol, accreditation schemes and the competence policy, the development and implementation of a number of documented procedures for the selection, evaluation and training of personnel, and impartiality. The requirements for the accreditation cycle, which is 5 years, are defined, as well as the accreditation body's responsibility to apply the assessment program of conformity assessment body during the accreditation cycle.

Currently, the ISO secretariat continues to vote on the approval of the final version of ISO/IEC 17011, Conformity Assessment – Requirements for accreditation bodies that accredit conformity assessment bodies.

After approval of the standard, the requirements shall be implemented in the procedures of the accreditation body and implemented in practice during the established transition period. The transition period toward the new edition of ISO/IEC 17011 will constitute three years from the date of publication.