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Accreditation

What is the GFSI standpoint on Product and Management System Certification?

Given the recent developments in regard to the revision and impending revision of ISO standards relating to the accreditation of product certification and management system certification, the GFSI Board asked at their May 2009 meeting, that accreditation experts should provide a recommendation as to whether management system certification could be considered as providing equivalent results to product certification, as outlined and required in the current GFSI Guidance Document version 5. Furthermore, the GFSI Board asked that if the results can be considered as equivalent, necessary revisions be considered and made within the GFSI Guidance Document to reflect this.

A meeting was held in Paris on October 7th 2009 to review these questions and the experts present agreed and recommended to the GFSI Board that although both approaches (ISO/IEC Guide 65 and ISO/IEC 17021) are different, the activities undertaken and outcomes that are achieved are very similar.

Click here to read a synopsis of the background to this issue and the key decisions taken at the GFSI Board meeting on 21st October.

Addendum to the GFSI Guidance Document 5th Edition

Following the October GFSI Board Meeting, the decision was taken to accept schemes for benchmarking in the future that have either ISO 65 or ISO 17021 as their accreditation standards. Accordingly, the GFSI Guidance Document needed to be revised and an addendum developed to provide for this eventuality.

Two consultation rounds were held prior to the release of the addendum. This addendum will now apply to schemes until the new version of the GFSI Guidance Document is released in June 2010.

What is Accreditation?

Accreditation is the formal recognition that an organization is competent to perform specific processes, activities, or tasks (which are detailed in a scope of accreditation) in a reliable credible and accurate manner. Find out more about accreditation here in a document prepared by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC).
 
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