Accreditation is attestation conducted by the national accreditation body on competency of a conformity assessment body and its ability to perform specific conformity assessment activities. Accreditation is like an independent verification of a third party.

Hence accreditation verifies only specific, particular activities (e.g. that a laboratory is able to conduct testing in accordance with specific testing methods or that a certification body is competent to certify a specific product according to certain standards). The particular accredited activity scope is defined in the annex to accreditation certificate of each conformity assessment body. The other activities conducted by the conformity assessment body are not verified by accreditation.

The term "flexible scope" is applied to testing laboratories. It means that it is competent to apply testing methods itself in the particular defined testing area.

Who conducts accreditation functions in Latvia?

In accordance with the decision adopted on 4 April 2017 at the sittings of the Cabinet of Ministers (prot. No. 18, § 42) the commencement of the reorganisation by way of division of the Limited Liability Company “Standardisation, Accreditation and Metrology Centre”, registration number  40003427231 (hereinafter - Standardisation, Accreditation and Metrology Centre Ltd.) was supported, inter alia, by providing that the acquiring companies are the following newly-founded companies: the State Limited Liability Company “Latvian National Accreditation Bureau” which is the successor of the functions, rights, obligations, property, financial resources (including own revenue), record-keeping and archives of the national accreditation body, and the State Limited Liability Company “Latvijas standarts” which is the successor of the functions, rights, obligations, property, financial resources (including own revenue), record-keeping and archives of the national accreditation body. In order to ensure the succession of the functions of the accreditation body after the division of Standardisation, Accreditation and Metrology Centre Ltd., Cabinet Regulation No. 445 of 18 May 2010 “Regulations on National Accreditation Body” was amended, which provides that the newly-founded Limited Liability Company “Latvian National Accreditation Bureau”, registration number 40203084604 (hereinafter - Latvian National Accreditation Bureau Ltd.) after its registration in the Commercial Register (on 1 August 2017) continues to fulfil the functions and tasks of the national accreditation body, taking  over the functions and tasks from the structural unit of Standardisation, Accreditation and Metrology Centre Ltd. - Latvian National Accreditation Bureau. In parallel with the taking over the functions and tasks of the national accreditation body, Latvian National Accreditation Bureau Ltd. has also become the successor of the rights, obligations, property, financial resources, record-keeping and archives of the national accreditation body, therefore, the changes to the agreements concluded on the accreditation of conformity assessment bodies shall not be made.

Since March 1, 2018 Latvian National Accreditation Bureau Ltd. has changed the status and from now on is called State Agency "Latvian National Accreditation Bureau" (LATAK). Santa Bērziņa has been approved as the Acting Director of the newly founded State Agency.

LATAK performs accreditation of testing, calibration and medical laboratories, inspection bodies, product, management system and person certification bodies. LATAK also performs accreditation of environment verifiers according to EMAS and EU ETS regulations, and laboratory assessment according to the principles of Good Laboratory Practice. Accreditation is conducted in accordance with international standards, the requirements whereof are established both for activities of an accreditation body, and for operations of conformity assessment bodies of various types.

Detailed information regarding accreditation criteria is available in the section Accreditation criteria.

Advantages of accreditation

The importance of accreditation increases with each year not only in Europe, but in Latvia as well. Accreditation helps to reduce technical trade barriers and increases trust of consumers, public administration and enterprises in quality and safety of products and services. The conformity assessment bodies operating both in private sector and in public sector may request accreditation as verification of competency of their activities.

Accreditation is the top level instrument in the whole hierarchy of quality provision, to ensure and verify conformity of products and the provided services to requirements of safety, health and environment protection.

As accreditation is also internationally recognized, it increasingly more widely used in trade of goods and services and in mutual recognition, as well as serves as the instrument of competence verification of a conformity assessment body for state administration bodies, if they choose to delegate certain conformity assessment activities (testing, calibration, inspection, and certification).

Products certified by an accredited certification body or tested in an accredited laboratory gain greater trust from consumers, buyers and market players.

International recognition

Accreditation is conducted in accordance with international standards of series ISO 17000, ISO 15000 and EN 45000. Competency of national accreditation bodies of separate states is ensured by mutual assessments. Based on conformity of such assessment results, LATAK has concluded the Multilateral Agreement (MLA) with European Co-operation for Accreditation EA. Mutual recognitions among accreditation bodies increase international recognition of accreditation results and prevent the need to request accreditation in several states. By participation in mutual activities LATAK ensures accreditation and recognition of verifications issued by accredited conformity assessment bodies in other states.

LATAK accreditation mark – certification of competence

The accredited conformity assessment bodies may use the accreditation mark in their certificates or reports. The accreditation mark contains the LATAK logo together with identification number of the body and denomination of the type of the corresponding conformity assessment body. More detailed information regarding use of the accreditation mark is available in the LATAK document D.011, as well as in Cabinet Regulations No. 1059.

An accredited body may refer to accreditation granted by LATAK, which in turn is a signatory of the Multilateral Agreement of the European Co-operation for Accreditation EA.

More information about accreditation and EA you will find in the EA brochure.

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