The results of conformity assessment bodies, such as test reports, inspection reports and certificates can be recognised in other jurisdictions and by other bodies if there is confidence that the results have been generated in an appropriate way.
This is often confirmed through mutual recognition agreements or arrangements (MRAs) on acceptance of conformity assessment results, especially in the context of international trade and facilitating market access of goods and services. The MRAs normally include reciprocal assessment of each other’s facilities and competence so as to provide confidence in the conformity assessment results.
The relevant document, ISO/IEC Guide 68, provides information on the elements of an agreement and advice on setting up an agreement group, stressing the importance of using internationally agreed criteria such as those in the CASCO toolbox. It mentions peer assessment and accreditation as methods for establishing the basis for confidence in the results produced by the members of the group. The Guide also advises that these two techniques can be used in a complementary way as, for example, where accreditation can provide assurance on the organization and management systems of the members while peer assessment can concentrate on the technical aspects.
topics on conformity assessment