Accreditation: Delivering a Safer World

To mark the 10th anniversary of World Accreditation Day SAI Global’s Paul Phyall, Director, UK & Ireland, Assurance, discusses how accreditation can deliver a safer world.


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For 10 years now the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and ILAC, the international organization for accreditation bodies, have come together to raise awareness of the importance of accreditation through their joint global initiative, the World Accreditation Day (WAD). We're proud supporters of these organizations and the initiative. Accreditation is valuable for many reasons, one of which is safety.

This year, the WAD focuses on how accreditation delivers a safer world. Accreditation plays a vital role in keeping people safe in their domestic life, their work life, ... well, in almost all aspects of their lives. In today's free-market societies we have an expectation and a right to the availability of safe products or services; whether we're buying our weekly groceries, using the washing machine, a cell phone, driving a car, eating in a restaurant, or simply walking across a bridge. As you can imagine, there are accreditation schemes and requirements for all kinds of things. To put it simply, accreditation aims to create a consistent way for the testing, inspection and certification sector to make things better by ensuring products and services are safer, of a higher quality, and easier to use. 
It also plays a pivotal role for businesses, both large and small, and for their employees.
If a business can demonstrate compliance with best practice by implementing a health & safety management system it can seriously improve reputation and increase opportunities to gain new business. It can minimize risks of downtime through accidents, demonstrate commitment with legal obligations, achieve potential cost savings from public liability insurance premiums and attract and retain staff. Plus, accredited certification provides market differentiation and objective proof that products are safe and meet specification.
In essence accredited certification helps all kinds of organizations to work in a better and smarter way, by not only assessing and controlling risks of the internal operation of companies, but also the products and services that they place on the market. This improves their efficiency and aids with innovation - and ultimately benefits us in our everyday life and our work life. 

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