FAQ 36

A type A Inspection Body hires external inspectors (not exclusively) who are otherwise engaged in design or manufacture of products. These external resources are salaried and employed by a company engaged in the design and manufacturing of these products. The external inspectors perform a full inspection work with a complete judgment of conformity of these…

FAQ35

Is there any procedure or guidance for the use of digital signatures in inspection certificates or inspection reports? When assessing the implementation of requirements relevant to the use of digital signatures, are there aspects that need special consideration? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17020  ·  CLAUSE: 7.4  ·  TOPIC: Inspection reports and certificates  Answer: ILAC has not produced any guidance on the use…

FAQ34

–If the inspection body uses results from testing (from a laboratory) within its report, is that considered to be subcontracting in any way? (1) –What if the laboratory and the inspection body are different departments performing different activities within the same entity/ organization? (2) -Does it matter whether the two departments are implementing the same…

FAQ33

“The liability can be assumed by the State in accordance with national laws, or by the organization of which the inspection body forms a part”. A.    Does this mean that a governmental inspectin body is deemed to satisfy this requirement by just being a governmental inspection body without having an actual provision (reserves/insurance), or even…

FAQ32

What is the importance of the quality manual (or whatever the document is called) and are there fixed items which it is mandatory to cover in it? Considering that the standard ISO 9001:2015 no longer requires its existence, does this mean that if an IB uses Option B it is not mandatory to have a…

FAQ31

Can the publicly available terms &conditions of the inspection body, containing its policy and/or a commitment statement concerning the protection of the clients’ information, be considered as a legally enforceable commitment to confidentiality? Consequently, can the client of the inspection body use these terms & conditions as legal evidence to the responsible authority when the…

FAQ30

Can an organization undertaking non-destructive testing be classified as an inspection body? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17020  ·  CLAUSE: 3.5  ·  TOPIC: Defining inspection body  · Answer: Bodies performing non-destructive testing activities may be accredited using either ISO/IEC 17025 or ISO/IEC 17020. EA (European co-operation for Accreditation) has published a document, EA-4/15 Accreditation for Non Destructive Testing, to ensure that, whichever route is…

FAQ29

Can inspection companies accredited under ISO/IEC 17020 (Type A) be qualified to assess compliance with regulatory requirements to Automotive Service Stations and to issue certificates of compliance/conformity? Further, can bodies accredited under ISO/IEC 17065 also provide this service? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17011  ·  CLAUSE: 4.6.3  ·  TOPIC: Conformity assessment schemes Answer: If the scope of accreditation of the conformity assessment body…

FAQ28

If the inspection body subcontracts some tests to a laboratory, but for unforeseen circumstances this laboratory is obliged to subcontract a part of these required tests to another laboratory, is it the responsibility of the inspection body to investigate the competence of the subcontractor of his subcontractor or not (1)? When informing the client about…

FAQ27

Even though the inspection body demonstrates that it has eliminated and minimized all identified risks to impartiality, it is difficult to determine whether all risks have been identified. In particular, risks associated with any kind (financial, trade, administrative, moral or other) of pressure exerted on the inspector. How far does the accreditation body need to…

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…

FAQ25

Inspection body policies are formulated in different ways, sometimes generally and sometimes by specifically explaining how the IBs deals with particular situations or requirements. Are the policies referred to in the standard meant to be general ones (e.g. our policy is to provide our clients with impartial services) or are they meant to be detailed…

FAQ24

Inspection bodies sometimes rely more on training and experience of the inspector than on education. Especially for scopes of limited complexity. Can this be acceptable as long as the inspection body supports such persons with relevant training, monitoring, on site-observation and requires a specified level of experience? Can specified education requirements be substituted by e.g.…

FAQ23

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…

FAQ22

Some inspection bodies define their objectives to be those of the mother company, without defining in any detail how they apply to inspection activities. Are such objectives proper for the fulfillment of the requirements of the standard? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17020  ·  CLAUSE: 8.2.1  ·  TOPIC: Specifying objectives  ·  Answer: When the standard says “…objectives for fulfillment of this International Standard” it…

FAQ21

What is the meaning of the word “use” A.1 b, c and d and in the notes in Annex A? An inspection body and its personnel are obliged not to be engaged in any activity that constitutes a conflict/threat to its independence of judgment. At the same time the inspection body is allowed to purchase,…

FAQ20

Can an inspection body report statements of conformity or inspection results pictorially, e.g. by means of different types of smileys? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17020  ·  CLAUSE: 7.4.2  ·  TOPIC: Reporting inspection results  ·  Answer: Yes, as long as the meaning is clear to the client and as long as the other information required in clause 7.4.2 is either included in the report…

FAQ19

Does an inspection body that only provides its inspection services to clients within the same legal entity need to implement a contract or work order control system? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17020  ·  CLAUSE: 7.1.5  ·  TOPIC: Implementing contract or work order control system   Answer: Yes. The requirements related to the work order control system could be seen as contributing to the…

FAQ18

How can a very small inspection body, e.g. a one-man inspection body, fulfil the requirement for performing internal audits without auditing their own work? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17020  ·  CLAUSE: 8.6.5  ·  TOPIC: Performing internal audits   Answer: ILAC P15 notes that competent external personnel may perform internal audits.

FAQ17

How can a very small inspection body, e.g. a one-man inspection body, fulfil the requirement for performing management reviews? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17020  ·  CLAUSE: 8.5.1  ·  TOPIC: Performing management reviews Answer: The standard does not require management reviews to be conducted by more than one person.

FAQ16

How can a very small inspection body, e.g. a one-man inspection body, fulfil the requirement for monitoring inspectors and other personnel involved in inspection activities? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17020  ·  CLAUSE: 6.1.8  ·  TOPIC: Monitoring inspectors and other personnel involved in inspection activities  ·  Answer: The standard does not require that monitoring is carried out by internal personnel. ILAC P15 gives examples…

FAQ15

How can a very small inspection body, e.g. a one-man inspection body, fulfil the requirement for authorising inspectors and other personnel involved in inspection activities? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17020  ·  CLAUSE: 6.1.5  ·  TOPIC: Authorising inspectors and other personnel involved in inspection activities  Answer: This is not a problem limited to small inspection bodies. No matter how many employees, the first…

FAQ14

How can a very small inspection body, e.g. a one-man inspection body, fulfil the requirement for deputies for technical manager(s)? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17020  ·  CLAUSE: 5.2.6  ·  TOPIC: Assigning deputies for technical manager(s)  Answer: The requirement is there to ensure that all work is competently performed, not to ensure that delivery times are honored. Therefore, as is pointed out in…

FAQ13

Clause 7.1.2 mandates that the inspection body shall have “adequate instructions of inspection planning, sampling and inspection techniques”. What is the meaning of “inspection planning, sampling and inspection techniques”? Please provide examples of each of these. STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17020  ·  CLAUSE: 7.1.2  ·  TOPIC: Documenting instructions on inspection planning, sampling and inspection techniques Answer: First, the Standard does not mandate…

FAQ12

Clause 6.2.6 in ISO/IEC 17020 states that “where appropriate measurement equipment having a significant influence on the results of the inspection shall be calibrated before being put into service”. What about cases where no calibration services are available in the market? Would verification from a manufacturer be enough in such cases? In this context; what…

FAQ11

Consider that an inspection body is found to be using an inadequate sampling procedure for selecting the number of samples inspected. The inspection body then claims that the sampling size was determined by its client and that it is the client who takes responsibility for determining conformity of the batch and subsequently certifying the batch…

FAQ10

While some clauses in ISO/IEC 17020 refer to ”documented procedures”, other clauses refer to ”established procedures” or just ”procedures”. What is the difference between ”documented procedures”, ”established procedures” and ”procedures”? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17020  ·  CLAUSE: 8.2.4  ·  TOPIC: Documenting the management system  Answer: Where ISO/IEC 17020 requires a “documented (or written) procedure’ then those procedures shall be documented. Where the…

FAQ9

Is it acceptable that the Technical Manager of the inspection body fulfils the standard’s requirements for the technical manager when the Business Manager has the disciplinary responsibility of the inspection body? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17020  ·  CLAUSE: 5.2.5  ·  TOPIC: Assigning technical manager(s)  Answer: Regardless of job titles, the responsibilities of the manager(s) with overall responsibility for technical & inspection activities…

FAQ8

Referring to the note under clause 4.1.3; how could a relationship based on marketing (including branding) and payment of a sales commission threaten the impartiality of an inspection body? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17020  ·  CLAUSE: 4.1.3  ·  TOPIC: Identifying risks   Answer: The marketing, branding or sales activities of inspections performed by the inspection body or of the items that are inspected…

FAQ7

ISO 17020:2012 clause 4.1.6c) states “An inspection body providing first party inspections, second party inspections, or both, which forms an identifiable but not necessarily a separate part of an organization involved in the design, manufacture, supply, installation, use or maintenance of the items it inspects and which supplies inspection services to its parent organization or…

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…

FAQ5

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.…

FAQ4

An inspection body applying for accreditation to ISO/IEC 17020 uses reference standards for checks and calibration of measurement equipment used in the field for performing its inspection activities. It has a non-accredited, in-house calibration department that provides the necessary calibration services for the reference standards. Is the in-house calibration of the reference standards allowed or…

FAQ3

Can an organization undertaking non-destructive testing be classified as an inspection body? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17020  ·  CLAUSE: 3.5  ·  TOPIC: Defining inspection body  Answer: Bodies performing non-destructive testing activities may be accredited using either ISO/IEC 17025 or ISO/IEC 17020. EA (European co-operation for Accreditation) has published a document, EA-4/15 Accreditation for Non Destructive Testing, to ensure that, whichever route is…

FAQ2

Is there a significant difference between the terms “responsibility” and “liability” as used in ISO/IEC 17020? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17020  ·  CLAUSE: 6.3.3  ·  TOPIC: Taking responsibility for determination of conformity  Answer: According to clause 6.3.3 of ISO/IEC 17020:2012 the inspection body is required to take responsibility for any determination of conformity. This clause does not require the inspection body to…

FAQ1

An inspection body applying for accreditation to ISO/IEC 17020 uses measurement equipment in performing its inspection activities. It has a non-accredited, in-house calibration department which provides the necessary calibration services for the measurement equipment used in the field. Is the in-house calibration of the measurement equipment used in the field allowed or not? STANDARD: ISO/IEC 17020  · …