What does accreditation mean?
FOR THE CONSUMER
In our daily lives we want to have confidence that the quality of products and services is correct. That is certainly the case when those products or services can form a risk for our health, the environment or our safety. Take a fire alarm for example: if an emergency arises we have to be able to trust that it will work correctly. But how do we know whether our trust is justified?
The differentiation between products and services is increasingly becoming blurred. Consumers are often unable to assess whether they comply with the requirements. It is therefore important for suppliers to be able to make a positive distinction between them and other suppliers. That can be achieved by having their products or services assessed by an objective party. A fire alarm for example is therefore tested to see whether it meets the requirements.
FOR OUR CLIENTS
The ultimate assessment is only of value if the assessing party is competent. Laboratories, inspection bodies, certification bodies and verification bodies can therefore have their work audited by the RvA and in the event of a positive result they are allowed to use the accreditation mark. This mark is evidence that, for example, the fire alarm testing body is expert, impartial and independent.
FOR THE GOVERNMENT
When it comes to products and services that form a risk for health, the environment or safety only a body accredited by the RvA may assess those products or services. For the Dutch government accreditation is therefore a tool for helping protect citizens in risky situations, for example in the event that a fire was suddenly to break out somewhere.
Accreditation is therefore a common thread throughout our society and lets us know that our trust in the quality of products and services is justified.