» Working with Government
UKAS is independent of Government but is appointed as the national accreditation body by the Accreditation Regulations 2009 (SI No 3155/2009) and the EU Regulation (EC) 765/2008 and operates under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government through the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.
Accreditation determines the technical competence and integrity of organisations offering testing, inspection, calibration, verification and certification services (collectively known as conformity assessment). In short, UKAS ‘checks the checkers’.
Accreditation is increasingly being recognised as a valuable tool across a wide range of Government policy areas including deregulation, good governance, fair markets and public confidence. It is already being used by Government as an effective market-led tool for delivering policy more efficiently and to help deliver on its obligations in areas as diverse as healthcare, food production, energy supply, climate change and personal safety.
UKAS has a major impact on the UK economy and supports European and international trade.
Many forms of accredited conformity assessment support Government policy. For example:
- UKAS accreditation provides confidence in the testing carried out on food, drinking water and asbestos samples;
- UKAS accredited certification underpins confidence in schemes such as environmental management, gas safety and farm assurance (such as Red Tractor);
- UKAS accredited inspection provides reassurance of the safety of lifts, industrial machinery and pressurised equipment.
For these and other accredited schemes, UKAS operates on behalf of a number of Government departments and agencies including the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Home Office, the Health and Safety Executive and the Food Standards Agency.
UKAS accreditation is an on-going business process to establish that a conformity assessment body is:
- technically competent
- appropriately resourced
- performing to the required standard
- performing to a standard that is sustainable.
UKAS accreditation offers a single, transparent and repeatable approach that:
- builds business and consumer confidence
- is voluntarily embraced by business and other service providers
- enables innovation in the private and public sectors
- reduces the need for central and local government to employ its own specialist assessment personnel
- reduces the need for legislation.
If you are responsible for setting or delivering policies that involve any form of independent evaluation, UKAS can help in a number of ways including defining your needs or designing an assessment or accreditation service to suit your policy requirements.
For further information about how accreditation can support public policy objectives please contact Suzi Daley, External Affairs Manager on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Policy makers can visit the Public Sector Assurance website to see how Government departments in other countries are using standards and accreditation in key policy areas. This is backed up with independent research and supporting information to confirm this success.