Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is accreditation?

Third party attestation related to a conformity assessment body, conveying formal demonstration of its competence, impartiality, and consistent operation in performing specific conformity assessment activities. (Source: ISO/IEC 17000:2020 Conformity Assessment—Vocabulary and general principles)

In simple terms, accreditation is the process in which an authoritative body formally recognizes the competence, impartiality, and capability of an organization to carry out specific activities, like certification, testing, calibration and inspection.

What is certification?

Third-party attestation related to an object of conformity assessment (e.g. product, process, service, system, installation, project, data, design, material, claim, person, body, or organization) with the exception of accreditation. (Source: ISO/IEC 17000:2020 Conformity Assessment—Vocabulary and general principles)

What are the benefits of accreditation?

For National Authorities and Regulators

  • Accreditation offers an alternative to regulation or can support regulation and enable its simplification. It is already being used to support policy delivery across a wide range of Government and regulatory activities. Accredited conformity assessment can be used to address a wide range of regulatory requirements – it is a flexible tool that can be applied to all sectors and to any kind of assessment, approval, validations or evaluation process.
  • Accreditation can reduce costs for Government by relying on the private sector. Accredited conformity assessment is market driven and funded by fees from these organizations, thereby removing the need for Government to operate and fund its own laboratories and inspectorates.
  • Accreditation can support risk-based regulation by providing information to help target Government intervention where it is most needed.
  • Through openness and independence, standards and accreditation have the necessary legitimacy and degree of market acceptance to be used as tools for policy delivery. Through international agreements on mutual recognition of accreditation, they are becoming more widely used as tools for regulators in both the developed and developing world.

(Source: Accreditation: A global tool to support public policy, www.ilac.org)

For Business

As accreditation is recognized internationally, it can open doors overseas equally as well as those in the domestic market. Indeed, an increasing number of organizations in both the public and private sectors in domestic markets and overseas are specifying accredited testing, inspection or certification as a precondition to tendering for contracts.

Accredited conformity assessment can also contribute to the operational efficiency of businesses in other ways, saving time and money by reducing bureaucracy and by helping with risk management and key aspects of decision-making. For instance, it can be used as a basis in making efficient and informed choices on domestic suppliers and promotes confidence in imports from other countries. It can also demonstrate due diligence in the event of legal action.

(Source: Accreditation: Facilitating world trade, www.ilac.org)

For Consumers

International accreditation agreements help in increasing the choice of goods and services available on the market and help to ensure that these meet relevant standards of quality and safety, whatever their country of origin.

(Source: Accreditation: Facilitating world trade, www.ilac.org)

What is the accreditation body in the Philippines?

The Philippine Accreditation Bureau (PAB) formerly Philippine Accreditation Office is the national accreditation body of the Philippines and the central body to accredit inspection, testing and certifying bodies and other bodies offering conformity assessment services in accordance with Executive Order 802.

The PAB is recognized internationally through its membership to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (APAC), Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Consultative Committee on Standards and Quality (ACCSQ) Working Group on Accreditation and Conformity Assessment (WG2) and International Halal Accreditation Forum (IHAF). PAB is also a signatory to the Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) for Quality Management System (QMS) and Environmental Management System (EMS) of APAC and IAF, Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) for testing, calibration, medical and inspection of APAC and ILAC.

The Bureau promotes accreditation of Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) locally and internationally through information campaign using various media; participation in local and international marketing events; continuous compliance with MRA/MLA requirements; and consultations and dialogues with stakeholders.

What is the Conformity Assessment Body?

Body that performs conformity assessment activities, excluding accreditation. (Source: ISO/IEC 17000:2020 Conformity Assessment—Vocabulary and general principles)

“Conformity assessment is the process for demonstrating that expectations about products and services (e.g. features like quality, ecology, safety, economy, reliability, compatibility, interoperability, efficiency and effectiveness) fulfilled the specified requirements of standards, regulations and other specifications.”

Example of Conformity Assessment Body (CAB):

  • Testing Laboratory (including medical testing laboratory)
  • Calibration Laboratory
  • Certification Body
  • Inspection Body
  • Validation/Verification Body
  • Proficiency Testing Provider

What is Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA)?

A Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) is an international agreement that promotes trust and builds confidence among accreditation bodies through their ability to determine a laboratory’s competence to carry out testing or calibration.

This MRA forms a regional network of laboratories and inspection bodies accredited by accreditation bodies that have been peer-evaluated and recognised as being competent. This network facilitates the acceptance of test, calibration and inspection reports in the region, thus contributing to the facilitation of trade and the free-trade goal of “tested/inspected once, accepted everywhere”.

Under MRAs, tests/inspections performed by laboratories accredited by a signatory country like PAB are recognized and accepted by fellow signatory countries.

(Source: www.ilac.org)

What is Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA)?

A Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) enhances the acceptance of goods and services across national borders. Through the MLA, there is assurance of mutual recognition of accredited certification between signatories to the MLA and the subsequently acceptance of accredited certification in many markets based on one accreditation. This recognition and acceptance removes technical barriers to trade (TBT) by reducing redundant conformity assessment.

Accreditations granted by MLA signatories like PAB is recognized worldwide based on their equivalent accreditation programs, reducing costs and adding value to business and consumers.

(Source: www.iaf.nu)

What are the accreditation schemes offered by PAB?

  • Accreditation of Testing and Calibration Laboratory – determines through assessment the technical competence of testing and calibration laboratories based on the requirements of PNS ISO/IEC 17025 and specific technical requirements relevant to a field of testing or calibration.
  • Accreditation of Inspection Body – determines through assessment the technical competence, independence and impartiality of organizations that carry out specific inspection activities based on the requirements of PNS ISO/IEC 17020.
  • Accreditation of Medical Testing Laboratory – determines through assessment the conformance to essential elements based on PNS ISO 15189 of medical laboratories to demonstrate the quality and competence of their services, as well as to consistently deliver technically valid test or “examination” results as the are known in the standard.
  • Accreditation of Management System Certification Body for:
    • Quality Management System (QMS) – this scheme evaluates the technical competence, consistency and impartiality of certification bodies providing PNS ISO 9001 certification based on the general requirements of PNS ISO/IEC 17021-1, PNS ISO/IEC 17021-3 and IAF Mandatory Documents
    • Environmental Management System (EMS) – this scheme evaluates the technical competence, consistency and impartiality of certification bodies providing PNS ISO 14001 certification based on the general requirements of PNS ISO/IEC 17021-1, PNS ISO/IEC 17021-2 and IAF Mandatory Documents.
    • Food Safety Management System (FSMS) – this scheme evaluates the technical competence, consistency and impartiality of certification bodies providing PNS ISO 22000 certification based on the general requirements of PNS ISO/IEC 17021-1 and PNS ISO 22003.
    • Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) based Food Management System – this scheme evaluates the technical competence, consistency and impartiality of certification bodies providing HACCP certification based on the general requirements of ISO/IEC 17021-1 and general principles of food hygiene (CODEX Alimentarius).
    • Information Security Management System (ISMS) – this scheme evaluates the technical competence, consistency and impartiality of certification bodies providing PNS ISO/IEC 27001 certification based on the general requirements of PNS ISO/IEC 17021-1 and PNS ISO/IEC 27006.
    • Energy Management System (EnMS) – this scheme evaluates the technical competence, consistency and impartiality of certification bodies providing PNS ISO 50001 certification based on the general requirements of PNS ISO/IEC 17021-1 and PNS ISO 50003.
  • Accreditation of Product Certification Body – this scheme evaluates the technical competence, consistency and impartiality of product certification bodies, based on the general requirements of ISO/IEC 17065, applicable certification scheme requirements and applicable APAC, IAF and IHAF mandatory documents.
  • Accreditation of Persons Certification Body – this scheme evaluates the technical competence, consistency and impartiality of persons certification bodies, based on the general requirements of PNS ISO/IEC 17024, applicable certification Scheme requirements and IAF mandatory documents.

How can we recognize Accredited Certificates and Endorsed Test/Calibration/Inspection Reports?

Accredited Certificates, Test/Calibration/Inspection Reports can be recognized by PAB Accreditation Symbol with corresponding accreditation number/s as shown below:

A. For Accredited Certification Body

B. For Accredited Testing Laboratory, Medical Testing, Calibration Laboratory and Inspection Body

Who can be accredited?

Accreditation is available to any type of Conformity Assessment Body (CABs) (e.g. certification body, verification and validation body, testing laboratory (including medical), calibration laboratory, and inspection body) who can comply with PAB Terms and Conditions for Accreditation and general requirements following specific scheme requirements and International Standards.

How to be accredited?

For full details of accreditation process, please refer to the following:

What are the fees when applying for accreditation?

A. For Certification Body:

A.1 The following is the schedule of fees which shall be collected from an applicant or accredited certification body:

Application fee

(non-refundable, payable upon issuance of application form)

Php 2,000.00 per scheme

Assessment fees

(include documentation review, initial assessment, surveillance assessment, special assessment, reassessment, witness audit)

Php 5,000.00 per man-day

Accreditation fee

(payable upon issuance of accreditation of certificate)

Php 10,000.00 per scope of accreditation

Annual accreditation fee

Php 5,000.00 per scope of accreditation

A.2 Transportation, accommodation, and airport taxes expenses of PAB assessment team shall be borne by the applicant or accredited certifying body.

A.3 Payment for contracted members of the assessment team shall be paid by the certifying body based on billing statement issued by PAB.

A.4 The PAB shall not refund any fee paid, if the application is not approved, withdrawn or discontinued or if the Certificate of Accreditation is suspended or cancelled.

A.5 Certifying Body shall be answerable for accidents that may occur during the assessment, if it can be proven that faults or negligence is contributed by them.

A.6 Fees shall be payable to the Department of Trade and Industry. Payments shall be coursed through the Philippine Accreditation Bureau.

For full details, please refer to MSA/GD02 PAB MSA Schedule of Fees.

B. For testing laboratory, medical testing, calibration laboratory and inspection body:

The following is the schedule of fees relative to the implementation of PAB

B.1 Laboratory Accreditation which shall be collected from an applicant or accredited laboratory/inspection body:

Application fee

PHP 300.00

Assessment fees

(include travel time, documentation review, initial assessment, surveillance assessment, special assessment, reassessment)

PHP 500.00 per man-hour

Accreditation fee

(payable upon issuance of accreditation of certificate)

Php 5,000.00 per scope of

accreditation

Annual accreditation fee

Php 3,000.00 per organization

B.2 Transportation, accommodation and airport taxes expenses of PAB assessment team shall be borne by the laboratory/inspection body.

B.3 Fees shall be payable to the Department of Trade and Industry. Payments shall be coursed through the Philippine Accreditation Bureau.
For full details, please refer to LA/GD05- PAB Schedule of Fees.

How long will it take to get PAB Accreditation?

Timeline from the acceptance of complete application requirements to the granting of PAB accreditation depends on the applicant’s conformity with PAB requirements, the range of tests/inspection fields or complexity of scope of the accreditation, availability of witnessing and clearance of incidences of non-conformance highlighted during the document review and assessment. A reasonable time frame is between six months to one year.

Where can I find the list of PAB Accredited CABs?

All list of PAB accredited CABs, with certificate and scopes of accreditation are published in the https://www.dti.gov.ph/pab/cabs/

Management System Certification Bodies (http://pabaccreditation.dti.gov.ph/public/public_mscb.php)

Product Certification Bodies (http://pabaccreditation.dti.gov.ph/public/public_prodcert.php)

Testing Laboratories
(http://www.pabaccreditation.dti.gov.ph/public/public_test.php)

Medical Testing Laboratories
(http://pabaccreditation.dti.gov.ph/public/public_med.php)

Calibration Laboratories
(http://www.pabaccreditation.dti.gov.ph/public/public_cal.php)

Inspection Bodies
(http://pabaccreditation.dti.gov.ph/public/public_ins.php)

Where can I buy copy of ISO Standards?

Although PAB is using copy of International Standards, PAB does not provide or sell any Philippine National Standards and International Standards to the public. These can be purchase at Bureau of Philippine Standards.

Bureau of Philippine Standards
3/F Trade and Industry Building
361 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue
Makati City 1200 Philippines
Fax: (632) 7 751.4706 / (632) 7 791.3127
Email: bps@dti.gov.ph

How can I become PAB assessor or technical expert?

An individual who wants to apply as subcontracted PAB assessor or technical expert shall meet the required qualifications of PAB in terms of education, relevant trainings specific to field of expertise, professional experiences and PAB criteria for assessors and experts. For further information, please reach us to the following contact details:

Management System Accreditation Division
Mobile No: 0917-819-2971
E-mail: pab_msad@dti.gov.ph

zLaboratory Accreditation Division
Mobile No: 0917-811-6026 / 0917-819-3183
E-mail: pab-lad@dti.gov.ph