A government inspection body inspecting imported goods and locally manufactured goods at the request of customers is also involved in quality assurance of locally manufactured goods. Can this inspection body be categorized as A or C under ISO/IEC 17020:2012?

STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17020  ·  CLAUSE: 4.1.6  ·  TOPIC: Maintaining independence  

Answer: The criteria for Type A independence relates to the ‘items’ inspected. Therefore, it is necessary to understand what ‘items’ are inspected by this inspection body and if the inspection body is involved in any activities that may conflict with their independence of judgment and integrity in relation to those inspection activities. If this inspection body is only involved in inspection and no other activities, then provided it meets all of the other requirements in Annex A of ISO/IEC 17020:2012 it could be a Type A inspection body. If, however, the quality assurance activities of locally manufactured goods involve activities other than inspection, then it would be necessary to establish if any of those other activities are in conflict with their inspection activities.