About the RvA

Each member state of the European Union has a national accreditation body. In the Netherlands it is the RvA. Our primary task consists of accrediting and renewing the accreditations of conformity-assessment bodies: laboratories, inspection bodies, certification bodies and verification bodies. This is to ensure that trust in the quality of products and services is genuinely justified.

Background

The RvA is a private organisation. In 2010 the Dutch government appointed the RvA as the national accreditation body based on European Regulation 765/2008. Since then the RvA has become an independent government agency that answers to the Minister for Economic Affairs. As an independent organisation and independent government agency the RvA is a non-profit organisation.

The RvA was founded in 1995 following a multi-party merger involving:

  • the Dutch Calibration Organisation (NKO);
  • the Foundation for the Recognition of Laboratories and Inspection Bodies (STERLAB/STERIN);
  • the Certification Council (RvC).

Since 2008 CCKL has also been part of the RvA. CCKL accredits Dutch medical laboratories working in the human health sector based on the Dutch Code of Practice. Over the coming years the CCKL accreditations will undergo a phased transition to the European standard ISO 15189. This will also result in the medical laboratories receiving accreditation with an international scope.

Our clients

Our clients are conformity-assessment bodies:

  • laboratories
  • inspection bodies
  • certification bodies
  • verification bodies

Conformity-assessment bodies assess whether products and services from suppliers meet the specified requirements. They do this for every imaginable field of work: health, environment, constructions, energy, food, transport and finance, to name but a few. In the event of a positive assessment the supplier is issued with a statement of conformity in the form of a certificate or report.

It is important that conformity-assessment bodies are expert, impartial and independent because only then statements they issue are useful and reliable. The RvA therefore checks that these bodies meet the European (EN) and international (ISO or ISO/IEC) standards. If they do they receive an accreditation mark – an audit of the audit.

You will find a list of all of our clients in the list of accredited bodies.

Fields of work

When assessing conformity-assessment bodies we distinguish between different disciplines:

The way in which a conformity assessment is conducted therefore differs greatly. For example it can involve testing a sample in a laboratory, measuring the critical components of a complex installation, analysing an organisation and its production processes or having people sit examinations. The subjects are also very diverse. Accreditation ranges from DNA testing to websites, from free-range eggs to career advisers, from lifts to asbestos inspections and so on. And our field of work is expanding constantly.

Stakeholders

There are various stakeholders in the field of accreditation:

  • direct clients of the RvA (conformity-assessment bodies);
  • direct clients of conformity-assessment bodies (buyers and suppliers);
  • sector associations;
  • government departments;
  • scientific institutions;
  • end users.

Good interaction with these stakeholders is essential for ensuring the further development of trust. That applies to trust in the bodies accredited by the RvA as well as trust within our own society. The RvA is therefore in regular contact with stakeholders, for example via the Advisory Panel of Stakeholders