Accreditation: Supporting the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals
Chair, IAF Conformity Assessment Bodies Advisory Committee
CEO, Independent International Organisation for Certification (IIOC)
The 2021 World Accreditation Day (WAD) focuses on the theme of how accreditation supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As the 14th WAD, this year’s theme illustrates the perfect match between accreditation, its associated conformity assessment services and the UN’s SDGs.
In many ways, the 2021 theme serves as a summary of all the previous WAD themes, as the parallels between the depth of the SDGs and accreditation’s value is seen.
First celebrated in 2008, World Accreditation Day seeks to better spread the message of the value and benefits of accreditation and its associated activities such as certification.
Over the years, the themes can be broken down into three broad areas. The first themes illustrate the generic qualities of accreditation, qualities such as how accreditation delivers trust, confidence and global acceptance.
A second group of subjects explores how accreditation helps key groups such as those developing public policy and regulators.
Later WAD themes focus on the role of accreditation in delivering benefits for specific sectors and issues. These include how accreditation helps contribute to better health and social care, energy provision, food safety and world trade.
The last 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic have seen consumers, businesses, governments and society as a whole demanding enhanced trust, confidence and acceptance of goods, services, people, processes and systems. WAD helps broaden the understanding of how accreditation and conformity assessment services can meet these demands.
The platform of WAD builds on this understanding, helping organisations to embrace and use accreditation to make improvements, and assisting consumers, businesses, governments and other stakeholders to have the opportunity to make things that are important to them better.
The link between the SDGs and accreditation is a hugely strong one as there are so many different accreditation, conformity assessment and assurance solutions which help support the SDGs.
Just picking one of the SDGs, SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, illustrates the breadth of different solutions which can assist. From quality to asset management, from health & safety to anti-bribery, the range of solutions from accreditation to support the SDGs is extensive. This illustration just scratches the surface of the different tools available.
Examining each of the SDGs would show many further examples of this support.
These can be seen in these three IAF/ILAC videos, with each delving further into accreditation supporting the SDGs, broken down into the themes of:
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