There is often confusion around the terms certification and inspection and what each means…
According to ISO, an inspection is:
An examination of a product, process, service, or installation or their design and determination of its conformity with specific requirements or, on the basis of professional judgment, with general requirements (ISO/IEC 17000 definition).
Inspection bodies are engaged to carry out these inspections on behalf of:
* private clients,
* their parent organizations, or
* authorities, including regulatory authorities.
The objective of inspection is to provide the client with information regarding the conformity of the inspected items with specifications, which may be contained in regulations, standards, inspection schemes or contracts. Inspection can be used by clients to measure the compliance of products or systems with quality, safety, and fitness for purpose requirements.
Bodies offering inspection services, if seeking ILAS accreditation, must meet the requirements of ISO/IEC 17020 – Conformity assessment—Requirements for the operation of various types of bodies performing inspection.