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Consultation response

Test House framework development

A summary of our response to the Test House Framework development consultation. Includes consultation questions, responses, and our position on these questions.


Consultation proposal:

We are not currently assured that the number of bodies able to perform accreditation provides consistent standards. Our proposal is to develop a testing framework with UKAS and only make arrangements with those that accept accreditation to the revised framework. We further propose that critical individuals, such as those that perform testing, should be personally accredited.

Consultation questions

To what extent do you agree with our proposals that:

  • Q4. We should develop a testing framework that ensures that our testing strategies are addressed?
  • Q5. We should accept accreditation reports from bodies that test to the revised framework?
  • Q6. Those in critical positions being personally accredited?

Nearly all the respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the proposal that an enhanced framework should be developed and commented that this will help us to ensure high standards within the industry.

11 respondents agreed or strongly agreed that we should only accept accreditation reports from those bodies that work to the revised framework.

Respondents were concerned as to additional costs that could be incurred if International Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation (ILAC) members were not able to continue to provide accreditation.

The majority of respondents also agreed or strongly agreed that those in critical positions should be personally accredited. Concerns were raised regarding testers being personally accredited, in the main due to the number of testers that would need to be approved. Views were expressed that this would be burdensome, for the Commission and test houses. It was suggested that the current ISO standards provide sufficient assurance as to the independence and competence of testers.

Our Position

We will develop a framework that includes Current ISO standards and our own technical standards. While the framework will be developed with UKAS, we will accept accreditation from other ILAC members that test to the standards set out in the revised framework. Accreditation bodies will need to demonstrate to both the Commission and UKAS how they plan to test the revised framework. We will not personally accredit critical positions, such as those of testers as on balance we do not consider this to be proportionate. Whilst we do not consider that the ISO standards are currently enough to manage the risk that has been identified, we believe that these risks can be managed by incorporating appropriate standards into the revised framework.

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