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Recognition of Testing Laboratories and Inspection Bodies

Recognition of Testing Laboratories and Inspection Bodies

Conducting certification processes entails cooperation with suitable (competent) testing laboratories, inspection bodies, and external experts. As an accredited certification body, DIN CERTCO cooperates only with testing laboratories, inspection bodies and experts recognized by itself.

The proof of competence of testing laboratories and inspection bodies is based on the requirements defined in the international standards

  • DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025 „General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories“ respectively
  • DIN EN ISO/IEC 17020 „Conformity assessment – Requirements for the operation of various types of bodies performing inspection“

Accreditations from independent accreditation bodies or also recognitions from authorities are taken into consideration. Nevertheless, they do not replace the final recognition by DIN CERTCO as well as the fulfillment of further requirements, e.g.:

  • sufficient equipment in the testing facility
  • insurance policies present covering liability for errors
  • regular tests and monitoring conducted
  • participation in round robin tests
  • participation in an exchange of experience, etc.
  • neutrality and independence

2. The way to recognition

Applications for recognition of a testing laboratory or inspection body shall be sent to DIN CERTCO in writing. Based on the documents submitted, DIN CERTCO will check whether the current general requirements for recognition are being met.

If a testing laboratory also is interested in performing factory inspections for DIN CERTCO in the applied scope, it is possible that it is recognized as inspection body. Alternatively, the inspectors/auditors can be recognized as single persons. For further information please see the application procedure for external experts (interner Link).

The proof of competence is bases on

  • a valid accreditation
  • and/or an on-site assessment
  • including a check of submitted documents and
  • if applicable comparison test or witness audit

If there is already a relevant accreditation of the testing laboratory for the testing scope applied for, a simplified recognition process can be conducted, which as a rule, is limited to checking accreditation documents and the quality manual of the applicant. Otherwise, as a rule, an on-site assessment is necessary. In this regard, DIN CERTCO can serve as an independent expert, where needed.

If the result of the assessment is positive, an agreement on cooperation is concluded and the testing laboratory or inspection body receives a corresponding certificate of approval.

All testing laboratories and inspection bodies recognized by DIN CERTCO are subject to regular monitoring within the validity of recognition of 5 years. This ensures that the recognition requirements are continually met. The monitoring takes into account a document check, as well as round robin tests, obligatory meetings for experience exchange and witness audits for inspection bodies.