Accreditation was originally an answer to a need for reliable test results and certificates. The need, internationally was to make it easier to sell goods and services across borders without the need for separate testing and certification procedures.

For test results, products or services to be internationally accepted, there was a need for a system of mutual acceptance. This was solved through cooperation between accreditation bodies in regional and worldwide organisations. Norwegian Accreditation (NA) participates in the European Co-operation for Accreditation (EA), International Laboratory Accreditation (ILAC) and International Accreditation Forum (IAF). These organisations maintain multilateral agreements on mutual acceptance of accredited services.

NA is signatory to all relevant agreements, and is thus peer-evaluated by EA every 4th year. Information abaout other countries accreditation bodies with MLA/MRA agreements are found on the three organisations web pages (follow links in logos bottom right)

Common accreditation criteria ensure that criteria set is comparable in all countries. EA, ILAC and IAF will provide, if necessary, guidance to the requirements.