FAQ26

Can an inspection body simultaneously be assigned more than one type of independence? E.g. can an inspection body provide lift inspection services as type C and indoor air inspection services as type A?

STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17020  ·  CLAUSE: 4.1.6  ·  TOPIC: Assigning independence categories 

Answer:

Yes. Clause 4.1.6 of ISO/IEC 17020 is formulated as “An inspection body providing … inspections shall meet the type … requirements of clause …”. The standard does not include any requirement that would inhibit an inspection body from offering different types of services at different independence levels. However, the way clause 7.9.5b) in ISO/IEC 17011 is formulated would seem to require the accreditation body to specify only one independence level for each inspection scheme listed in the inspection body’s scope of accreditation. Consequently, it is not possible for an inspection body to offer different independence levels to different customers for the same inspection scheme.

FAQ6

Clause 4.1.6 uses the expression “separate and identifiable part of an organisation involved in certain activities” to describe inspection bodies of independence type B and the expression “identifiable but not necessarily separate part of an organisation involved certain activities” to describe inspection bodies of independence type C. What is the difference between being an identifiable part and being a separate part within an organization? How can this be proved or recognized?

STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17020  ·  CLAUSE: 4.1.6  ·  TOPIC: Assigning independence categories  

Answer:

For an inspection body to demonstrate that it is an identifiable and separate part of an organisation, the inspection body must be a separate section, department, division etc., within that organisation and the inspection staff and management must work in that separate part of the organisation. In case of a Type C inspection body, it is not a requirement for the inspection body to be a separate section, department, division of the organisation but it is a requirement that all those who are involved in inspection are .identified by name so that it is quite clear who is involved in inspection activities. The documented organisation structure, job descriptions and records of personnel are some of the ways in which the inspection body can demonstrate that the inspection body is separate and /or identifiable.