Accreditation in Europe: Home alone!

by Dr George Anastasopoulos*

“EA members shall not compete with other EA members in the EA region”
EA-2/13 M: 2012-EA Cross Border Accreditation Policy – October 2012

In July 2008 the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament agreed to a Regulation that for the first time provides a legal framework that creates a series of monopolies (one in each EU member country) for the provision of accreditation services across Europe. And this action could be understood (even then debatable) if it was planned to serve only the compulsory conformity assessment needs introduced by EU legislation. Alas! It is also becoming obligatory for the operation of accreditation related to voluntary conformity assessment! Therefore, protected from competition by the use of force (=law), monopolistic Accreditation can afford to provide his service in a costly and inefficient manner, since the certification bodies (including laboratories) are deprived of any possible range of alternative accreditation choice.

But let’s start of the beginning. What is accreditation?
According to International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), accreditation is...