Every 9 June marks World Accreditation Day (WAD), a global initiative jointly established by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) to promote the value of accreditation. 9 June 2017 will focus on how accreditation gives confidence in construction and the built environment.
World Accreditation Day 2017 will demonstrate how accreditation can support professionals in the construction industry including building owners, operators, contractors, manufacturers, designers, architects, and structural and civil engineers. It will also set out how accreditation is used by policy makers, local authorities and regulators to support construction-based regulation, environmental protection, public safety, fraud prevention, public trust and innovation.
The construction sector is complex and highly competitive. It provides challenges for companies seeking to improve margins and reduce costs whilst improving build quality and ensuring a safe environment on site. Accreditation supports the construction sector to control risk, help drive efficiency, demonstrate regulatory compliance and provide supply chain confidence.
The key issues to be faced with by standards, conformity assessment and accreditation are:
- Are the buildings we live or work in safe?
- Are there measures in place to ensure that construction sites are safe places to work?
- What reassurance is there that raw materials and construction products meet specification and are of suitable quality?
- How do we know that buildings are capable of withstanding fire, storm, water, collapse, subsidence, vibration?
- How can we trust claims made about the environmental impact and sustainability of construction projects?
More concretely, laboratories are accredited to test construction products and raw materials, geotextiles, engineering materials, machinery and structures, acoustics, and air leakage testing. Calibration laboratories specialize in acoustics, dimensional, mass, density, volume, force, torque hardness, electrical, pressure, fluids, temperature and humidity calibration.
Accredited certification of Quality, Environmental, Occupational Health & Safety, and Energy Management Systems ensure that construction companies have the appropriate controls and processes in place to deliver projects efficiently, control their environmental impact and energy efficiency, and deliver a safe working environment.
Inspection bodies carry out construction-related activities such as welding and welding procedures, pressure vessels, piping, and gas, electrical safety, lifting equipment and the carriage of dangerous goods. Accreditation also covers inspection services in areas such as asbestos surveying and legionella risk assessments.
A brochure has been produced to include global examples to demonstrate how accredited testing, inspection and certification are being used to provide suppliers, purchasers and specifiers with assurance that construction projects run efficiently, construction sites are safe and reliable materials are used.
The Public Sector Assurance website, jointly created by global quality infrastructure organisations, showcases further examples to illustrate the utmost importance that accreditation plays in this sector.
EA encourages its members to celebrate this day at national level in order to further promote the role and benefits of accreditation. To learn more about how different NABs celebrate World Accreditation Day 2017, please visit their website listed our EA Members page.