by Xiao Jianhua, Chair IAF, and Pete Unger, Chair ILAC
Xiao Jianhua Pete Unger
World Accreditation Day 2016 (#WAD2016)
Accreditation: A global tool to support Public Policy
World Accreditation Day 2016 focuses on the support accreditation delivers as a tool for all areas in the public sector – national and local government, regulators. Accreditation is a global tool that helps to address local, national and international needs for governments. Standards, conformity assessment and accreditation are all market based tools that can be used by Government policy makers to deliver better regulation, environmental protection, public safety,,fraud prevention, fair and efficient markets and public trust.
There are four clear ways the public sector can benefit from accreditation and other conformity assessment tools:
- Government can help improve the performance of business by
encouraging the use of conformity assessment by minimising
risk and promoting trade.
- Accredited conformity assessment can help government
deliver and enforce its policies
- Conformity assessment helps regulators regulate
- Government can improve its own performance by using
conformity assessment in its own departments.
To help explain the use of accredited conformity assessment, the website www.publicsectorassurance.org has been established to showcase different global examples where accreditation has been used to support public policy efforts. From assisting forensic science in the UK, to effective voluntary programmes in the US, to improving the delivery of food safety in Australia, to protecting consumers in the safety of products in the Gulf Coast Countries, the site demonstrates real examples where public policy is being delivered using accreditation.
With the pressure of business dealing with burdensome bureaucracy and the need for governments to deliver benefits to society, the use of accreditation enables public officials to use market-based solutions that can be implemented cost-effectively and timely.
From health & safety to economic development, from encouraging trade to solving crime and improving security, accreditation is a credible tool that enable public policy makers and regulators to ensure confidence in how they want to deliver their public policy.
Accredited conformity assessment activities such as certification, calibration, testing, inspection and validation and verification, are a great asset to the public sector in order to meet policy objectives. The ongoing use of accreditation by public officials from across the globe provides examples of the benefits delivered, using this dynamic tool for government and regulators.
A brochure giving more details of accreditation as a global tool to support public policy is available for download from the IAF and ILAC websites.
Further case studies, research and support material is available at