9 Jul 2019

National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies

Recently the National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB), India’s national accreditation body, secured international equivalence for its accreditation programme for personnel certification bodies in the annual meeting of the Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation in Singapore.

Key Highlights

  • NABCB also signed the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) of the Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (APAC) for its accreditation programme based on international standard, ISO/IEC 17024. 
  • ISO/IEC 17024: Conformity assessment – General requirements for bodies operating certification of persons specifies criteria for the operation of a Personnel Certification Bodies (also known as a certification body for persons).
  • The standard includes requirements for the development and maintenance of the certification schemes for persons upon which the certification is based.

Significance and Impact

  • With the above recognition, NABCB hopes to facilitate export of Indian services and skills into the world market by attesting that persons are certified following international standards by the certifying bodies.
  • Personnel Certification would support many professionals in India, especially those who do not have formal education or certificate programme. 
  • Any person carrying ISO/IEC 17024 certificate with NABCB logo will be recognized internationally. 
  • It can also be used by regulators for establishing confidence in certified personnel for different activities.
  • This signifies that the accreditation of personnel certification bodies by NABCB is now accepted as equivalent at international level.

About NABCB

  • NABCB, a constituent Board of Quality Council of India, an autonomous body attached to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, is responsible for accreditation of certification/inspection bodies as per applicable international standards under an international system of equivalence.
  • NABCB is already supporting Ministry of AYUSH and has accredited a certification body for certification for Yoga professionals.

Accreditation Bodies and Importance of Accreditation

  • Accreditation reduces risk for business and its customers by assuring that accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) are competent to carry out the work they undertake within their scope of accreditation.
  • Accreditation Bodies (ABs) that are members of Asia-Pacific(APAC) and the CABs they accredit are required to comply with appropriate international standards and the applicable APAC application documents for the consistent application of those standards.
  • ABs that are signatories to the APAC Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MRA) are evaluated regularly by an appointed team of peers to provide confidence in the operation of their accreditation programmes. 

Accreditation has become an essential tool for getting acceptance of inspection, testing and certification done in India internationally and it is referenced in many bilateral Free Trade Agreements like India – Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement in which NABCB accreditation is a requirement for certification of electrical/electronic and telecom products