The word accreditation comes from the Latin verb "accredere". In English, it means something like "to give credence to." Accreditations are awarded in various fields such as higher education, the press, sports, diplomacy and business. As a rule, they represent a kind of approval, in business a confirmation, which is issued by the body authorized to grant accreditation. This requires proof of certain qualities and abilities as well as compliance with specified standards.

The accreditation of certification bodies is of particular importance. The authoritative definition of "accreditation" in this context is set out in the ISO 17011 standard. Accordingly, accreditation is a


"Confirmation by a third party formally stating that a certification body has the competence to perform specific assessment tasks".

Who is allowed to accredit certification bodies?

The accreditation of certification bodies like DQS, so-called conformity assessment bodies, is a sovereign task regulated by law in Europe. Since 2010, the German Accreditation Body (DAkkS) has been responsible for accreditations in Germany as the only national accreditation body according to Regulation (EC) No. 765/2008. The European Regulation was implemented into German law by the Accreditation Body Act (AkkStelleG) in 2009. National accreditation bodies operate on a non-profit basis and are under government supervision.

Who can obtain accreditation?

DAkkS accredits conformity assessment bodies, such as laboratories or inspection bodies, but also certification bodies for management systems, such as DQS. The accreditations of DQS refer to management system standards and products and are, among others, bound to the fulfillment of the standard requirements of ISO 17021 and ISO 17065.

The accreditations of DQS

The value of a certificate is always measured by the degree of public confidence in the certifying, accredited body ☆ In 1991, DQS was the first certification body in Germany to receive its accreditation for ISO 9001/2/3 ☆

Learn more about the accreditations of DQS Group

For certifiers operating in the so-called "accredited area" and offering certifications according to management system standards, they would do well to obtain a corresponding accreditation from DAkkS or similar bodies. The best known management system standards are

Accreditation is valid worldwide and has recently been granted for an unlimited period. However, the competence of a certification body is monitored at regular intervals by the accrediting body - in Germany by DAkkS. The DAkkS website contains a list of management system standards and technical rules for which accreditation is possible.


What are the advantages of accreditation?

The accreditation of a certification body is regarded as objective proof that the certification body carries out its activities on the basis of international standards and regularly has its procedures independently assessed.

Internationally recognized accreditations and approvals thus help you when selecting service providers. Our tip: Accreditation entitles a conformity assessment body to display the accreditation logo, for example that of the Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle (DAkkS), on the certificates it issues. If there is such an accreditation logo on your certificate, it is an accredited certificate with worldwide recognition.

In the private sector, in the "non-regulated area", accreditations are aimed at conformity assessments that primarily serve to build confidence in business. Here, accreditation is not mandatory for the certification of management systems, but it is recommended for many reasons! Especially for you as a client of a certification, this results in the advantage that the result of the conformity assessment stands up to international comparisons.

You can see from the accreditation of a certifier that the quality of the service offered is proven and that the offer is trustworthy. During the certification process, your company benefits from the confirmed professional competence of the auditors of an accredited certifier. This is expressed, among other things, in dialogue at eye level and the uncovering of value-creating improvement potential for your management system.


What are accredited certificates?

An accredited certificate is issued by an accredited certifier - and always for the underlying norm or standard.

With an accredited certificate, you enjoy the necessary acceptance of your customers and business partners worldwide. The international recognition of certificates from accredited certification bodies facilitates access to global markets and reduces costs for multiple certifications. If you want to be on the safe side, you should be guided by these criteria when choosing a certifier.

The ISO 17021 standard puts it this way:

The overall objective of accredited certification is "to provide confidence to all parties that a management system meets specified requirements."

And further, "The value of certification is the degree of public confidence conveyed by an impartial and competent third-party evaluation."

The informative value, trustworthiness and thus the value of a certificate therefore depends to a large extent on whether the certification company is accredited, but also on what reputation the certifier enjoys in the market - this in turn is due not least to its accreditations.

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We will be glad to answer your questions

Learn more about the advantages of an accredited DQS certificate in a personal conversation.

What is the difference between an accreditation and a certification?

Whether products, services, processes or management systems comply with standards, whether persons meet certain qualification profiles, this can be proven with the instruments of accreditation and certification.

Certification stands for the determination of conformity in individual cases. Example: As a certification body, DQS audits and certifies a company's quality management system according to ISO 9001.

Accreditation, on the other hand, is the formal confirmation by an independent third party that the certification body itself acts competently and impartially on the basis of internationally applicable rules.


What is the "non-accredited area"?

In the industry, there is a multitude of standard-like specifications and technical rules issued by different bodies such as associations. Assessments and audits according to such specifications usually fall into the so-called "non-accredited area". This means that there is no accreditation by DAkkS or another body for these specifications and technical rules. However, they are approved for certification and confirmation by the issuing organization.

One example is the DStV quality seal of the German Tax Consultants Association. The association has granted approval for certification and the award of the DStV seal to only a handful of certification organizations, including DQS.


Accreditations of DQS Group

With our accreditations we enable - in contrast to non-accredited certifiers - standard-compliant, international comparability and recognition of certificates. In 1991 DQS was the first certification body in Germany to be accredited for ISO 9001/2/3 by the then TGA GmbH (today: Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH, DAkkS). Today, the spectrum of our services covers about 200 international regulations and national standards. An overview of our accreditations can be found in our current accreditation certificates.

Ute Droege

DQS expert for quality management systems, long-time auditor and experienced trainer for ISO 9001.

<p>DQS Expert for ISO 9001 Quality Management</p>