The Swiss Accreditation Service SAS examines and accredits the following types of conformity assessment bodies (CABs) on the basis of the relevant international standards:
- Testing laboratories [SN EN ISO/IEC 17025]
- Calibration laboratories [SN EN ISO/IEC 17025]
- Medical laboratories [SN EN ISO 15189]
- Reference material producers [SN EN ISO 17034]
- Proficiency testing providers [SN EN ISO/IEC 17043]
- Inspection bodies [SN EN ISO/IEC 17020]
- Certification bodies for management systems [SN EN ISO/IEC 17021-1]
- Certification bodies for persons [SN EN ISO/IEC 17024]
- Certification bodies for products, processes and services [SN EN ISO/IEC 17065]
By means of accreditation (lat. accredere = to give credence to, believe, put faith in) the competence of a body to execute conformity assessments according to specified requirements is formally acknowledged. The aim of the accreditation is to strengthen the confidence in the competence and services of the CAB.
The reports and certificates issued under an accreditation and which are also recognized abroad within the framework of international agreements support the confidence in the quality of the correspondent products and services. Herewith, the reports and certificates issued by accredited CAB contribute considerably to the elimination of barriers to trade. The Swiss Accreditation Service is an important device to create a transparent and qualified infrastructure for conformity assessment bodies in all branches.
The SAS is attached to the State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO). However, it takes decisions concerning accreditation independently and autonomously - in accordance with the applicable national and international requirements. Thus, the Head of SAS decides according to the Accreditation and Designation Ordinance (AccDO) on the granting or denial of accreditation as well as on the suspension or the withdrawal if the requirements for an accreditation are not fulfilled anymore.
In collaboration with the interested organisations in Switzerland, the SAS provides for the application of the international standards in the individual specific fields. Furthermore it represents as part of a widespread international accreditation architecture the national interests in the international organisations which are involved in the accreditation and conformity assessments.