The international standard ISO 17020 sets out general criteria for the operation of various types of bodies performing inspection. If inspection bodies are to be accredited in a harmonized manner as complying with ISO 17020 some guidance to the standard is necessary. These guidance notes provide it. One aim is to enable accreditation bodies to harmonies their application of the standard against which they are bound to assess inspection bodies.
This is an important step towards mutual recognition of accreditation. It is hoped that the guidance will also be useful to inspection bodies themselves and to those whose decisions are guided by their inspection reports/ certificates. This guidance will form the basis of mutual recognition arrangements between accreditation bodies, and is considered necessary for the consistent application of ISO 17020.