It sometimes happens that an inspection body claims that it is not responsible for some of the results included in an inspection report as it derives from a subcontracted analysis (testing) which is not covered by the accredited scope. Does the inspection body have the right to include a disclaimer saying that it is not responsible for the result of this testing/analysis? Does it matter whether the activity is covered by the accredited scope or whether it is an inspection activity or not?

STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17020  ·  CLAUSE: 6.3.3  ·  TOPIC: Taking responsibility for determination of conformity


The inspection body has to take responsibility for the whole chain, including any test results or inspection activities performed by subcontractors, if it wants to refer to its accredited status. However, the assessment of the accreditation body is limited to operations of the inspection body that are covered by the scope of accreditation. As long as the inspection body does not refer to its accredited status for work outside its scope of accreditation, these activities are of no concern to the accreditation body. If an inspection activity is reported under accreditation and it includes testing activities, the guidance provided in ILAC P15, 7.4.2a, and the rules in ILAC P8, chapters 8 and 9, apply. This is to say that if the outcome of the inspection is based on unaccredited results, then the report must include a disclaimer that the outcome of the inspection is not covered by the accreditation.