Accreditation of Inspection Bodies
INAB accredits Inspection Bodies to the standard ISO/IEC 17020:2012 “Conformity assessment – requirements for the operation for various types of bodies performing inspections” whose functions include the examination of materials, products, installations, plant, processes, work procedures or services and the determination of their conformity with requirements including the subsequent reporting of the results of these activities. Examples of inspections that these organisations perform include periodic inspection of pressurised gas cylinders and inspection of buildings for the presence of asbestos, lifts, hoists, cranes, electrical installations, escalators etc.
The requirement for the independence of inspection bodies may vary according to legislation and market needs. There may be a requirement to have inspections carried out by an Inspection Body having third party status, that is, that are independent relative to the seller/producer and purchaser. They generally perform inspection of facilities, equipment, installations etc. in respect of which the authorities have special regulations for safety reasons.
Accredited inspection bodies may also be appointed as notified bodies. Notified bodies are conformity assessment bodies which are officially designated by their national authority (Member State) to carry out the procedures for conformity assessment within the meaning of applicable Union harmonisation legislation when a third party is required. They are called ‘notified bodies’ under the applicable EU legislation.
Notified bodies take responsibilities in areas of public interest and, therefore, must remain accountable to the competent national authorities. To be eligible a body must be a legal entity established on the territory of a Member State and, thus, come under its jurisdiction.
Further information on notified bodies may be found on the European Commission website.
INAB Accreditation Symbol
The Irish National Accreditation Board strongly mandates accredited organisations to use the accreditation symbol on their reports or certificates.
The accreditation symbol, ownership of which is vested in INAB, is a combination of the Board’s logo in association with the registration number and the accreditation standard. Reference is also made to the organisation’s scope of accreditation.
The use of the symbol is subject to strict criteria laid down in the INAB R1 Regulations.