This page is for you who are considering applying for accreditation or who are already in the process of accreditation. Here you will find relevant information on how to proceed with applying, expanding, or renewing an accreditation. The process Organizations seeking accreditation develop a quality system according to the different requirements of the accreditation standard they want to apply for. It is important that the system is implemented, meaning that the organization has started using it, before applying for accreditation. When the organization believes that they meet the requirements of the relevant accreditation standard and the applicable technical standards/normative documents, they submit an application for accreditation to Norwegian Accreditation. Application process An application consists of an application form with accompanying documents (application form, scope of application, and conformity matrix). Relevant forms and documents are available on our website here. Contents of the application Who is applying The application form includes the organization's registration number, address, contact person, and other information about the organization. Scope of application The scope of application specifies what the accreditation is being sought for. For example: Chemical oxygen demand (COD) in wastewater Determination of coliform bacteria and E.coli in water Certification of management systems according to NS-EN ISO 9001:2015 Certification of personnel - playground equipment inspectors Conformity matrix The conformity matrix indicates where in the management system the various requirements of the accreditation standard have been addressed and described. The management system is the organization's own control system. Norsk akkreditering uses the term "management system" to refer to what is commonly referred to as a control system or quality system. What happens when an application is received? The application is handled according to an established procedure: The applicant is informed in writing about the project coordinator and lead assessor. Norsk akkreditering conducts a document review, and the applicant receives a report. Currently, the application form is only available in paper format, and different types of accreditation have different application forms. Norsk akkreditering is currently working on developing a simplified digital solution for this. Review of application Appointed lead evaluator assesses the received documentation, and considers: Are the descriptions and documentation in accordance with the requirements of the relevant standard? Technical competence is obtained if necessary. The technical evaluator must be skilled and accepted by the applicant. A report is prepared and sent to the applicant. Content of a pre-meeting Pre-meeting between the lead assessor and the organization Often, a pre-meeting is held between the lead assessor from the Norwegian accreditation and the organization before the initial assessment. The pre-meeting takes place at the Norwegian accreditation's premises in Lillestrøm. The accreditation manager and lead assessor from Norwegian accreditation participate. Review and clarification Any deficiencies in the management system and submitted documents are discussed. Questions and necessary clarifications are addressed. A tentative assessment date and potential technical assessors are agreed upon. After the pre-meeting, a report is prepared, and the applicant sends updated documentation according to the agreement with Norwegian Accreditation. The purpose of the pre-meeting and document review is to ensure that the organization is as prepared as possible for the assessment when the initial assessment is carried out. This is how the assessment process works The purpose of the assessment The purpose of the assessment is to confirm that the organization meets the requirements of the accreditation standard, other normative documents, and technical requirements. This is carried out at the organization seeking accreditation, and is referred to as an on-site assessment. The lead assessor leads the assessment team The lead assessor is responsible for the assessment and leads the assessment team. The lead assessor prepares the agenda, which is sent to the applicant about one week before the assessment. The assessment team discusses the assessment strategy beforehand. The assessment involves the participation of the lead assessor (usually a permanent employee of Norwegian Accreditation) and one or more technical assessors (often hired by Norwegian Accreditation). Representatives from the organization also participate, including management, the quality manager, and relevant technical personnel. Evaluation of compliance with requirements The lead assessor verifies the management system, such as processes and records for handling deviations, internal audits, management reviews, and risk assessments. The technical assessor verifies technical competence and compliance with technical requirements. It is common for the assessment team to observe the performance of activities that are to be accredited. These are activities that are stated in the scope of the application. This may for example include a chemical or microbiological analysis for laboratories, or the conduct of audits for certification bodies. Norwegian Accreditation prepares a report confirming or refuting compliance with the applicable requirements. In case of non-compliance, deviations requiring corrective actions are issued. The summary and deviation report is provided to the organization after the assessment. In areas where there is non-compliance between the organization's management system and/or practices and the requirements of the accreditation standard, deviations are written. In order to close the deviation, the organization must submit satisfactory corrective actions to Norwegian Accreditation. The lead assessor should be involved in all communication between the technical assessor(s) and the organization seeking accreditation. Treatment of deviations If you receive a report of deviations that need to be handled in connection with the accreditation process, you must submit root cause analyses and corrective actions within the specified deadline. The deadline is stated in the deviation report. Root cause analysis and corrective actions In the treatment of deviations, a root cause analysis must be conducted. Root cause analyses are important for reducing the likelihood of similar deviations occurring again. Norsk akkreditering places great emphasis on root cause analyses. This applies to deviations discovered by Norsk akkreditering as well as deviations found by the organization. One starts with the main problem (deviation). The next question is "Why?". Once that is answered, the process is repeated until the root cause of the problem is identified. A general rule of thumb is to ask "why" multiple times to get to the root cause of the deviation. A systematically conducted root cause analysis provides the opportunity to identify the underlying causes of incidents and determine if it is a one-time occurrence or a recurring issue. Without a root cause analysis, there is a risk of implementing measures that do not have the desired effect. Once the cause has been found and measures implemented based on this, the likelihood of preventing recurrence increases. Closure of deviations The lead assessor and technical assessors assess whether the root cause analyses and corrective actions are satisfactory. If deficiencies have been adequately corrected, the deviation is closed. If the deviation is not adequately corrected, another round of correction is carried out. Norsk akkreditering normally accepts a maximum of three rounds of deviation correction before suspension is considered. If necessary, a new on-site visit is conducted to verify that corrective actions have been implemented. The applicant is informed in writing about the closure of the deviation. Approval of accreditation When the lead assessor has prepared an internal report recommending accreditation and communicated this to decision-makers, accreditation is discussed in an accreditation forum, and a decision regarding accreditation is made. When accreditation is granted, the applicant receives a decision, an accreditation certificate, and an accreditation document that describes what the organization is accredited for. The scope of accreditation is published on Norsk Akkreditering's website. Here, you can find an overview of who is accredited. Duration and follow-up of accreditation Accreditation is granted for a five-year period. During this time, Norsk akkreditering will regularly follow up with the accredited organizations to ensure that they are working in compliance with the standard(s) for which the company is accredited. During initial assessment and renewal During initial assessment and renewal, the entire management system will be reviewed. This includes: Reviewing and evaluating all relevant documents that make up the management system. Assessing all elements of the standard. Demonstrating representative methods/techniques. Interviewing representative personnel. During follow-up During follow-up, the following will be reviewed: Selected elements of the management system. Activities will be demonstrated and reviewed. The review is based on random sampling. The implementation of corrective actions from the previous visit will also be reviewed. How often are follow-up visits conducted during the accreditation period? Normally, there will be a need for annual follow-up visits during the first accreditation period. The goal is to cover the entire scope of accreditation within a five-year period. Lead assessors will develop follow-up plans, which the organization is responsible for following. Renewal of accreditation If the organization wishes to maintain accreditation, it must be renewed within five years. A renewal visit must be conducted no later than six months before the accreditation expires. The scope of this visit is the same as that for the initial assessment. Any deviations must be satisfactorily corrected and closed before the accreditation can be renewed. Rejection of accreditation If your application for accreditation is rejected, this must be justified in writing. All rejections of accreditation must be justified by failure to meet the accreditation requirements. Appeal of individual decisions on accreditation Decisions on accreditation are individual decisions and can be appealed under the the Public Administration Act. All appeals in the form of electronic forms, emails, and letters are registered by Norwegian Accreditation. The deadline for filing an appeal is three weeks from the date the notification of the decision has been received by the relevant party, in accordance with the the Public Administration Act §§29-30. Norwegian Accreditation appoints an independent person to handle the appeal in accordance with the the Public Administration Act §33 paragraph two, and §11a paragraphs one and two. The result of the handling will normally be communicated to the complainant within one month, in accordance with the the Public Administration Act §11a paragraph three. This result can be appealed to Norwegian Accreditation's appeals committee, in accordance with the EEA Goods Act §3. Read more about how to file an appeal here. Changes and expansions of accreditation An accreditation can be modified by applying for an extension of the scope of accreditation. This may involve including additional areas, testing methods, calibration procedures, or standards within existing fields. The general management system will have been assessed previously in the case of an expansion, but additional documentation related to the application for expansion still needs to be submitted to Norwegian Accreditation. An expansion is processed through a document review or an on-site visit. Any reduction in the scope of accreditation is carried out upon written request from the organization. When the standard is revised When a standard is revised, the changes in requirements will be communicated on our website. Such change notifications can be found under the relevant field, clearly marked. It will also be possible to subscribe to a newsletter to receive updated information on, among other things, such changes. Do you have any questions regarding the accreditation process or anything else related to accreditation? Please contact us at email@example.com, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. You can also reach us by calling (+47) 64 84 86 00.