What is the difference between Certification and Accreditation?
There is a difference between accreditation and certification:
• An organization can be certified to show that they follow a quality standard. In many cases, this is an ISO 9001 certification, proving that they have a quality system as described in ISO 9001 and that they follow it. The certification is issued by a “Certification body,” which has been accredited to do so by a national “Accreditation body,” like UKAS (UK Accreditation Service; www.ukas.com), Swedac (Swedish Accreditation; www.swedac.se), Norsk Akkreditering (Norwegian Accreditation; www.standard.no), to mention a few. Most countries have one accreditation body and several certification bodies.
• Accreditation is more than a certification, as the standards for accreditation also require competence in the process. One of the accreditation standards is the Laboratory accreditation standard ISO 17025.