Inspection is the conformity assessment either based on defined or general requirements. Products (machines or devices), processes or installations (equipment) can be inspected.
Inspection aims at demonstrating the safety and functionality of the inspected target. Typical examples of inspected targets include lifts, hoisting gears, various pressure devices, measuring devices or extinguishers and fire detectors.
The inspection can be performed when the machine, device or equipment is commissioned (commissioning inspection), as part of periodical verification of functionality and safety (periodic inspection) or in connection with amendments (amendment inspection).
In connection with accreditation, inspection bodies are classified into three different types, A, B and C. The type is specified based on the interdependence between the inspection body and the target of the inspection. Inspection bodies that are independent and impartial third party operators belong to type A. Type B inspection bodies are separate sections in an organisation and they perform inspections only for their own organisation or an organisation belonging to the same Group. The same kind of separation from the organisation is not expected of type C inspection bodies as with type B inspection bodies. In addition, type C inspection bodies can perform inspections on both their own organisation and external organisations. All types of inspection bodies shall act impartially.
The quality management system of an accredited inspection body meet the principles of ISO 9001 standard. The international organisations ISO, ILAC and IAF have stated this compliance in their joint resolution.
The SFS-EN ISO/IEC 17020:2012 standard is the accreditation requirement for inspection bodies.
Accredited inspection bodies use the FINAS accreditation symbol in which the identification number of the accredited body is of the form IXXX. The accreditation symbol also includes a type describing the
independence of the inspection body (A, B or C).