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Breaking down trade barriers through accreditation – One test, one inspection, or one certification accepted everywhere

December 1, 2020

Breaking down trade barriers through accreditation – One test, one inspection, or one certification accepted everywhere

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SCC is a respected national leader in accreditation. We have built our reputation on making it our job to ensure conformity assessment bodies and standards development organizations demonstrate technical competence, reliability and integrity against nationally and internationally recognized standards. Accreditation benefits food safety, medical testing, and many other industries that affect Canadians every day. Certification bodies worldwide seek SCC’s accreditation as proof that their work is in line with the most current national and international standards and regulations.

How can others be sure that SCC’s accreditation process can be trusted and that it operates at the highest level possible?

This is where the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) come in. ILAC and IAF provide accreditation bodies (ABs) around the world, such as SCC, with the opportunity to be recognized on the global stage and be mutually recognized between their fellow member ABs. This recognition is contingent on mutual evaluation and acceptance of each other’s accreditation systems. We have multilateral arrangements with these international accreditation organizations so that once goods and services are certified, they can be accepted everywhere with equal confidence.

ILAC and IAF ensure that accreditation body members such as SCC are conforming with the International Standard

The primary purpose of both ILAC (in the accreditation of laboratories and inspection bodies) and IAF (in the accreditation of management systems, products, services and personnel) is to provide its full accreditation members and signatories with the recognition of conforming to the relevant international standard. Specifically, that ABs are meeting ISO/IEC 17011 (Requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies).

Every four years, SCC is evaluated by peers from other ABs in accordance with the applicable rules and procedures of ILAC and IAF. In turn, SCC evaluates other ABs as well.

SCC is a full member and signatory of both ILAC and IAF to ensure that Canada has a voice on the global stage

Each ILAC and IAF member can provide recommendations and vote on; transitions, interpretations, and revisions to standards and policies. SCC actively participates in ILAC and IAF committees and attends meetings and general assemblies that provide ABs with an opportunity to network and discuss common challenges with technical experts in the accreditation industry from around the world.

“SCC is a full member and signatory of both ILAC and IAF. We provide technical expertise and exercise Canada’s voting rights as a member to influence policies in accreditation. SCC has continuously applied newfound knowledge provided by ILAC and IAF to improve Canada’s reputation in the international accreditation community.” 

 – Elias Rafoul, Vice President, Accreditation Services at SCC and SCC Representative to ILAC and IAF

ILAC and IAF decide on the rules and implementation of the following SCC accreditation programs


Testing and Calibration Laboratories

Medical Testing Laboratories

Proficiency Testing Providers (SCC application pending)


Management Systems Certification Bodies

Product, Process and Service Certification Bodies

Greenhouse Gas Validation/Verification Bodies (SCC application pending)

Bodies performing the Certification of Persons (SCC application pending)

SCC accreditation and internationally recognized standards provide confidence in products and services around the world, whatever their country of origin is. Working together, we can have a global impact on reducing trade barriers.