Accreditation is an internationally standardised method to demonstrate competence and is based on the ISO 17011 standard. Accreditation policies are agreed in international organisations in the field, with members from the accreditation bodies in different countries. FINAS operates in both European and international organisations (EA, ILAC and IAF). Accreditation policies are offen written in documents published by the European and international organisations.
By using peer evaluation process and multilateral recognition arrangements, these organisations recognise and accept the equivalence of the accreditation systems operated by the signing members. FINAS is a member in all international accreditation multilateral recognition arrangements.
The European Commission has appointed the European co-operation for Accreditation, EA, in charge of the accreditation system in Europe. EA is responsible for communication and agreements with the European Commission and assesses the implementation of the European accreditation and market surveillance regulation as part of its peer evaluation process.
FINAS is a member of the global accreditation organisations ILAC and IAF. FINAS's operations are internationally consistent and recognised through the activities of these organisations.
In the European accreditation system operating in accordance with the EU regulation, each member state is in charge of the operations in their own country. In special cases, if a country agrees that a service is acquired from another country, the accreditation bodies perform assessments in other countries. Furthermore, if the accredited organisation has activities in other countries, assessments can be arranged in these other countries. Cross-border accreditation is always discussed and agreed with each country's own accreditation body. EA's Cross Border principles apply in Europe.
International documents are documents primarily published by EA, IAF and ILAC. Those documents are two different kind of types: either mandatory or guidance. Accredited organizations or organizations that are applying accreditation should take account these documents. Organizations shall meet the requirements published in mandatory documents.
EA provides documents that are either Mandatory (M) or Guidance (G)/Informative (INF). The documents are available on the EA website. In addition, EA publishes a publication called EA-INF/01, which lists the documents published by EA.
ILAC provides documents that are either mandatory documents, Policy (P) or guidance documents, Guidance (G). The documents are available on the ILAC website.
IAF provides documents that are either Mandatory (MD) or Informative (ID). The documents are available on the IAF website.