The organization and management of the national accreditation service
In accordance with the Standardization Act (Official Gazette no. 55/96) the State Office for Standardization and Metrology (DZNM) administers the National Accreditation Service (NSO).
DZNM-NSO is organized in such a way as to fulfill the international requirements for bodies operating accreditation (HRN EN 45003) and certification (HRN EN 45010).
DZNM-NSO expert working groups in the field of accreditation consist of representatives from ministries, producers, testing and certification laboratories, institutes, faculties, professional associations and other interested parties. They are assembled in the System and Sector Committees, the Training Committee and the Independent Assessor teams (skupina nezavisnih ocjenitelja
The National Accreditation Council
The National Accreditation Council (NVO) considers and proposes measures for the development and promotion of the national accreditation system. The National Accreditation Council also discusses accreditation issues significant for the economic development of the country. The National Accreditation Council directs the activities of DZNM-NSO towards those areas, which are of interest to the country’s economy, the ministries and administrative bodies.
The National Accreditation Council consists of members, who are appointed by the Croatian Government for the period of 4 years.
The technical expert operations of the National Accreditation Council are administered by DZNM that is the members of the National Accreditation Council.
Sector Committees are technical bodies that involve the engagement of recognized experts from various fields of accreditation (calibration, electrical engineering, chemistry, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, and quality systems), in their work. They are set up for individual fields of accreditation, in order to elaborate special assessment criteria that should contribute to the development of the subject fields of testing and certification.
It is in the competence of the Sector committees to lay down the relevant criteria for the appointment of assessors and to suggest members for the Register of Assessors. They participate in the surveillance and control procedures referring to the granting, maintenance, extension, limitation, suspension and withdrawal of accreditation.
Assessors have a leading role in providing expert support to DZNM-NSO for assessing the competence of organizations applying for accreditation. Assessors are appointed among experts experienced in various fields of testing or certification. DZNM-NSO maintains the Register of Assessors.
The Training Committee elaborates educational programs designed for the professional training and qualification of DZNM-NSO assessors. The Training Committee is also engaged in the preparation of educational programs for the personnel of laboratories and certification bodies, as well as for the members of DZNM-NSO expert groups in the field of accreditation. The Training Committee also elaborates notification plans for other organizations interested in the system of accreditation.
System Committees render expert support to DZNM-NSO in order to ensure the effective operation of the accreditation system. Subject Committees provide main support for the maintenance and development of the accreditation system. The work of the three System Committees is coordinated by DZNM-NSO.
The Accreditation Committee passes the final proposal for the decision on accreditation by means of Committees, which are set up for every single accreditation procedure. It carries out surveillance and controls the performance of accreditation according to the laid down rules. It co-ordinates the work of the Sector Committees.
Committee for Rules and Quality elaborates organizational and other regulations relative to the assessment procedures, the selection, appointment and qualification of assessors as well as the monitoring of their performance. It defines regulations and plans for the monitoring and evaluation of the DZNM-NSO quality system, suggests measures for its further development as well as for the maintenance and development of the relevant documents. The Committee is responsible for the efficiency of DZNM-NSO quality system.
Complaint Committee examines possible complaints of applicants and accredited laboratories or certification bodies referring to the accreditation procedure, the granting or withdrawal of accreditation, etc.
DZNM-NSO is a full member of the ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation)
DZNM-NSO is an associated member of the EA (European Co-operation for Accreditation)
DZNM-NSO continously cooperates with accreditation services from other countries as for example:
- BMWA – Bundesminister für Wirtschaft und Arbeit
- CAI – Český institut pro akreditaci
- DAP – Deutsches Akkreditierungssystem Prüfwesen
- DACH – Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle Chemie
In 1996 DZNM entered a cooperation agreement with BAM (Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und –prüfung, Germany), which is located at the same place as the German Accreditation Council (Deutscher Akkreditierungsrat DAR). By means of this Agreement Central and Eastern European countries have been given the opportunity to join in the work of the International AMOS Program, designed to underpin the development of their national accreditation systems in accordance with the European rules. In 1996 Croatian experts, members of the National Accreditation Council, participated in a training course that was organized under the AMOS program. In the period from 1997 to 1999 several joint assessments of Croatian testing laboratories were carried out.
In practice the cooperation agreements between DZNM and CAI and DZNM and BMwA are fulfilled by means of mutual visits, exchange of experience and joint assessments carried out in cooperation with Austrian and Czech assessors.
DZNM-NSO working methods incorporate recommendations of other International accreditation organizations:
For additional information on the accreditation procedure laboratories, certification bodies and other interested parties should refer to the following addresses: EOTC – European Organization for Conformity Assessment, EUROLAB – European Federation of National Association of Measurement, Testing and Analytical Laboratories and EURACHEM – European Association of Chemical Laboratories.