What is accreditation?

Accreditation is the official recognition of the ability of an organisation, natural person to perform certain comformity activities (testing, calibration, sampling, certification, inspection, etc.). The purpose of accreditation is to increase confidence in organisations granted recognition in the accreditation system based on single European principles, to increase reliability in testing, certification and inspection activities, to promote mutual acceptance of test results and certificates, eliminating thereby repeated tests and technical obstacles to trade.

The National Assembly created Act CXXIV of 2015 on national accreditation in order to ensure the operation of a national accreditation system in line with the European and international practice, the performance of accreditation as public authority activity, implementation of international agreements on conformity assessment, and to enhance the elimination of multiple conformity assessment of products and services in the interest of increasing the competiveness of the role players of the Hungarian national economy and to eliminate the unjustified technical obstacles of trade. This Act repealed Act LXXVIII of 2005. The provisions of Act CXL of 2004 on the general rules of the official procedures and services of public administration shall be applied to the accreditation procedure, the surveillance procedure, administration of complaint and applications for legal remedy relating to the activities of the accredited organisation or natural person with the deviations determined in that Act and in the government decree issued pursuant to the authorisation received therein. Provisions on the National Accreditation Authority (therefor: NAH) and the accreditation procedure are laid down in Government Decree No. 424/2015. (XII. 23.), while provisions on the Accreditation Council are given in Government Resolution No. 1956/2015. (XII. 23). Administrative service fees payable for NAH procedures are determined in Decree No. 45/2015. (XII. 30.) Minister of National Economy (NGM).

National Accreditation Scheme

With attention to the rules of law on accreditation, European and international standards published as national standards, NAH can perform the accreditation of the following organisations or natural persons in the National Accreditation Scheme:

a) testing laboratories,

b) sampling organisations,

c) calibration laboratories,

d) proficiency test providers,

e) product certification bodies,

f) management systems certification bodies,

g) persons certification bodies,

h) inspection bodies with the exception of authorities,

i) reference materials producers,

j) Eco-management and audit scheme verifier organisations or natural persons,

k) verifier organisations according to the Act on participation in the greenhouse gas emissions community scheme and effort sharing decision,

l) data protection certification body,

In the accreditation procedure of the data protection certification body, NAH involve the National Data Protection and Information Authority.

Accreditation is voluntary and open to all organisations and natural persons who perform their activities impartially and competently and fulfil the requirements of professionalism.

With respect to NAH and the organisations to be accredited, accreditation is based on the Standard series MSZ EN ISO/IEC 17000, the guides issued by the international and European accreditation organisations, and the profession specific requirements issued by NAH. NAH publishes on its website the rules of law applicable to accreditation, requirements to accreditation (standards, provisions and guides), the rules of accreditation and surveillance procedures, the decree on fees, the rules applicable to the selection of assessors and experts, the procedure on the submission of legal remedies, the rules of referring to the accredited status and the rules on the use of the accreditation symbol, the accreditation requirements, furthermore, the application forms.

NAH performs the accreditation procedures by involving independent external assessors, experts. Application for accreditation is voluntary, the application can be submitted by the form published on NAH website. The rules applicable to the accreditation procedure can be found in the ‘Documents’ column of the website. In addition to professional competence, the applicant shall provide, in the accreditation procedure, evidence of operating an efficient quality management system. The applicant is assessed on the basis of the documentation submitted and the site assessment in accordance with the rules described in NAR-01. Decision on suitability for accreditation is decided on by the Deputy Director General of NAH with attention to the expert opinion of the Accreditation Committee, which is communicated with the applicant in a public administrative resolution. Accreditation is relevant for conformity assessment activities defined in the Annex of the resolution on accreditation. Based on the resolution on accreditation, NAH issues a certification of accreditation signed by the Director General of NAH. In addition to reference to the accredited status, accredited organisations are also entitled to use the symbol of accreditation.

During the term of accreditation, the operation of the accredited party is surveyed by NAH in public administration procedures. Competence of an organisation, person is assessed by the assessors, experts appointed by the general department heads of NAH. Based on the findings of the surveillance, the Deputy Director General of NAH maintains the accredited status, partially or fully suspends or withdraws it, if justified.

The accredited status is valid for 5 years under the condition that the organisation continues to be in compliance with the accreditation requirements in the surveillance procedures.

The accredited party shall report to NAH all significant changes to occur related to its accredited status and affecting its status or any feature of its activities in any way.

The accredited party may request the reduction of its accredited scope on which NAH will pass a decision following the submission of an application. The accredited party may request the extension of the scope of its accreditation in the evaluation of which NAH applies the rules applicable to granting accreditation.

Renewal of accredited status may be initiated one year before its expiry the earliest; in its evaluation NAH applies the rules applicable to granting accreditation.

The accredited organisation is entitled to refer to accreditation and to use the accreditation symbol as defined in the NAH procedure.