What Is

Accreditation

 

Accreditation is a formal third party confirmation that organizations providing conformity assessment services are technically competent and impartial to carry out their specific activities.

Through the application of national and international standards, government, businesses and consumers can have confidence in the calibration and test results, inspection reports and certifications provided.

Who needs accreditation?

If you have a product that you want to sell domestically or internationally, you will have to determine the applicable safety standards, regulations and codes that apply to that product.

International customers will expect some proof that the product meets their expectations for safety and quality. You will provide that proof by having the product tested/certified by a Conformity Assessment Body (CAB). The CAB will give you a certificate stating that the product meets the standards expected by the customers.

But… can we trust the information provided by a CAB? Do we know whether these CABs are competent enough to perform those evaluations? The importers, the authorities and the final consumers need to trust the information provided by the CABs. Therefore, someone needs to evaluate whether the CABs are truly competent. In Nigeria, NiNAS will evaluate the competence of the CABs.

During the accreditation process, the assessors assess whether the CAB is reliable, competent and impartial, and whether it fulfills the necessary standards. If it does, the CAB is accredited.

(A CAB could be a laboratory, a certification body or an inspection body).

Click here to download Application Form

Why do we need international accreditation in Nigeria?

Nigeria has a large number of CABs that test, calibrate or certify products and services.

Some of these CABs are accredited to national standards. However, national standards are often not enough to avoid the quality issues that hinder exports, e.g.: rejection of consignments due to product failures caused by questionable test results, re-testing of products due to inaccurate measurement caused by poorly or non-calibrated equipment, rejection of orders by not being able to support products claims with an internationally-recognized accreditation certificate or test report…

Very few CABs in Nigeria are currently accredited to international standards. Until now, there was no accreditation body based in Nigeria to assess the competence of these CABs to international standards. In fact, Nigerian CABs seeking internationally recognized accreditation had to refer to foreign accreditation bodies. This made the accreditation process cumbersome and only affordable to a few.

NiNAS is a Nigerian accreditation body. This makes NiNAS more accessible and cost-effective than overseas accreditation bodies.

In short, accreditation is an assurance that the work done by laboratories, certification bodies and other types of CABs, is reliable.

  • Accreditation is not a quality certificate.
  • Accreditation is not an export certificate.
  • Accreditation is not having quality management certification (ISO 9001).
  • Accreditation does not mean the CAB is technically competent to do everything.
  • Accreditation does not guarantee each and every measurement/ test/ certification/ inspection made by the CAB.
  • Accredited once does not mean that CABs are competent forever to perform their tasks.
  • Products and services are not accredited.
  • Businesses (e.g. manufacturers, exporters, etc.) are not accredited.
  • Accreditation is recognition of the CAB’s competency.
  • Accreditation is granted for specific activities. Users of CABs services should check the CABs’ Scope of Accreditation.
  • Accreditation needs to be renewed periodically.
  • Only CABs are accredited.

Benefits of Accreditation

Accreditation promotes competitiveness: Accreditation to international standards means that the tests, certifications and inspections are recognized at the international level, and which reinforces the competitiveness of Nigerian companies.

Accreditation fosters trade: Accreditation to international standards means that the reports and certificates accompanying exported goods are more readily accepted internationally. This cuts out duplicate testing procedures on each side of the border, reducing costs and saving transit time.

Accreditation promotes health and safety: Accreditation to international standards means living up to the highest standards. Quality issues should be detected before the goods and services reach the market, hence protecting the health and safety of the consumers.

Benefits for CABs

If you are a conformity assessment body, why should you have your lab accredited by NiNAS?

  • You will attract more customers through added confidence.
  • Your customers will appreciate it: your results will be more readily accepted abroad and your customers will save time and money for re-testing.
  • Your organization will benefit: higher productivity, better results, and increased employee satisfaction.

Click the button below to download brochure on why to become an accredited laboratory.

Benefits for Manufacturers and Exporters

If you are a manufacturer and/or an exporter, by using NiNAS-accredited labs, you will benefit from:

  • More revenues: better acceptance of your goods overseas will enhance your customers’ confidence. This means international recognition and better reputation.
  • Less costs: no need for products to be re-tested / re-certified / re-inspected in another country, avoiding costly re-work and rejections of entire consignments.
  • Less risks: peace of mind when you chose a NINAS-accredited lab.

Click the button below to download brochure on why use an accredited laboratory.

Benefits for Final Consumers

As a final consumer, why should you only buy or use products and services that have been evaluated by a NiNAS-accredited CAB?

  • You can trust that they have been checked against the highest possible quality standards.
  • You can have confidence that they are healthy and safe.

Benefits for Regulators

Benefits for the government and regulators, what are NiNAS’ benefits for a country?

  • Greater assurance of meeting the obligations under world trade agreements e.g. compliance with the Trade Facilitation, Technical Barriers to Trade and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreements.
  • Possibility to make informed decisions based on the confidence in data generated by accredited CABs.
  • Public trust. NiNAS will identify organizations that meet and maintain high standards.
  • Assistance to meet your domestic regulatory objectives for health and safety.

Would you like to know more about how government and regulators around the world use accreditation to deliver positive benefit in key policy areas? Visit http://publicsectorassurance.org/

International Recognition

NiNAS is working towards having its accreditations recognized in many countries around the World. This recognition will allow Nigerian companies to sell their goods and services more easily in international markets.

Making your way into foreign markets is often a challenge. In addition to competition from local companies and customs’ fees, there are technical barriers that require products to meet certain standards, generally associated with safety features, environmental protection and quality. They are known as Technical Barriers to Trade.

Using the services of accredited conformity assessment bodies, allows exporting companies to overcome these obstacles. For example, having goods certified by an accredited CAB before export, means that the goods do not require re-testing in the country of destination:

International recognition occurs through the mechanism of Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs) and Multilateral Arrangements (MLAs). These agreements act as an internationally recognized ‘stamp of approval’ to demonstrate reliability of test results and compliance against agreed standards and requirements.

The international recognition agreements are managed by ILACIAF and AFRAC. NiNAS will be a signatory of all of them.

These international agreements enhance the acceptance of products across national borders.

Duplication is minimized as test and calibration data included in submissions for product approvals can be evaluated without re-testing. By removing the need for additional calibration, testing, and/or inspection of imports and exports, technical barriers to trade are reduced.

For more information, download MRA brochure below