The scope of accreditation shows the activities for which the body in question has requested accreditation and in which the body has been deemed to be competent, following an assessment. The scope of accreditation defines which services can be offered as accredited. It also includes the fields of accreditation as well as the testing methods, types of inspections and certification categories in which the body is found competent.
FINAS maintains its clients’ valid scopes of accreditation on its website.
As a rule, scopes of accreditation are fixed scopes described in detail. An accredited body may also have a flexible scope, where the scope is presented at a more general level. Predominantly, the flexible scope has been developed to meet the needs of bodies that work in research and/or development, for situations where the properties of an object to be tested, calibrated, inspected or certified cannot always be predicted in advance. A fixed scope might also contain flexibility.
Principles of using flexible scope
• Operations have been presented at a more general level than in fixed scope.
• Possibility to make, with some limitations, changes in the scope of accreditation without prior assessment
• The changes made are assessed afterwards, in connection with surveillance visits
• Flexibility does not allow the adoption of completely new procedures in any field of accreditation
Flexible scope requires
• Systematic activities
• Applicable personnel and other resources
• Appropriate procedures for identifying risk factors in activities
• Efficient and transparent validation procedures for daily working
• Competence to modify activities in response to clients’ needs
• Comprehensive and appropriate quality assurance procedures
• Traceable, comprehensive and clear documentation of activities, and good management of documents
• Active monitoring of clients’ needs/feedback and cooperation with clients.