We include here text lifted directly from ASCB for the guidance of our existing and potential customers.
On ASCB’s affiliations
“……A significant aspect of membership of some international associations is their exclusive nature. For example; IAF rules do not permit more than one accreditation body offering the same scope of accreditation from each country. Competition between accreditation bodies with different commercial models but similar technical ones is therefore prevented. This is considered a restrictive practice.
To date, ASCB has been prevented from applying for memberships because of these rules and although some benefits of membership are perceived it remains a closed shop. It is regrettable in view of the contribution that ASCB can make to the accreditation process that may be welcomed by others.
Many international organisations, such as IAF are private organisations that are established with no other remit or authority than to operate as commercial organisations. They have no legally assigned status (such as that which is assigned to United Nations Organisations or the International Monetary Fund nor is there any legal requirement for their members to be members. Nonetheless, ASCB recognise that membership does have benefits in particular the credibility and prestige that such organisations may have built up in the marketplace even though these benefits may be subjective and are commercially driven factors.
The establishment of many international organisations is not enshrined in any particular law or item of legislation. However, practices have erroneously developed within some purchasing bodies including those of departments of state, in the mistaken belief that membership is a ‘requirement’. In most cases this is not so and although any purchasing authority has the right to describe preferences and policies for procurement, a custom often develops that has no foundation in any technical requirement……”
On ASCB’s basis and “government recognition”
“……Accreditation Service for Certifying Bodies Ltd is a private limited company registered in England and Wales registered number 3132143. The company is therefore registered as a trading concern with the appropriate United Kingdom authorities.
The authority vested in ASCB Ltd is that assigned to them by the certifying body and by the organisation in respect of the accreditation services contracted. No claim as to statutory, legislative, authority, prominence or right given by any other party unless specified by ASCB Ltd is claimed. Organisations are advised that ASCB Ltd provide accreditation services and are known to the U K Government Department of Trade and Industry as doing so……”