Building the House of Accreditation

Youngest Quality Infrastructure institution 

Accreditation is the youngest type of institution of the Quality Infrastructure system.  Accreditation refers to “…to the independent evaluation of conformity assessment bodies against recognised standards to carry out specific activities to ensure their impartiality and competence. Through the application of national and international standards, government, procurers and consumers can have confidence in the calibration and test results, inspection reports and certifications provided.” [1]

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The National Quality Law of Costa Rica

Quality Infrastructure fulfils sovereign tasks 

The Quality Infrastructure is organised at the national level. Therefore, we speak of a National Quality System (NQS) or National Quality Infrastructure (NQI). Most countries in the world today have a National Metrology Institute (NMI), a National Standards Institute (NSI) and a National Accreditation Body (NAB). Each of these institutions requires a legal framework because they act in the public interest. In some cases, the Quality Infrastructure institutions even assume sovereign tasks.

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One system, two functions

In the first post of this blog, we explained the term Quality Infrastructure. We referred to the definition by INetQI, which is agreed upon by the international associations for accreditation, metrology, standardisation and supporting international organisations. INetQI defined Quality Infrastructure as follows:

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What is Quality Infrastructure?

The term Quality Infrastructure is relatively new and has so far been familiar to experts only. In this blog post, we like to explain the term in more detail.

We want to start by saying that the term does not mean the quality of infrastructures such as roads, ports or power grids. There is no doubt that Quality Infrastructure services are used for the quality assurance of pieces of physical infrastructure, but the meaning of the term goes much further. We use the term to explain the hard and software required to assure the quality of products and services.

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Innovation push for Quality Infrastructure through COVID-19?

As we are now in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the regular operation of Quality Infrastructure is greatly reduced and partly at standstill. At the same time, we observe how Quality Infrastructure organisations are adapting their services to the reality of lockdown and home office work. Since we also have to stay at home, it is an excellent opportunity to use this time to eventually start the blog #QI4D.

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