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Accreditation ProcessAccreditation Scheme

This section introduces the process to attain KOLAS accreditation as conformity assessment bodies (CABs).
Please refer to the assessment process below regarding the details of KOLAS accreditation including the conditions for application, required documents and others.
It takes approximately 90 days from the submission of applications until issuance of accreditation. The processing period only includes working days of the KOLAS Secretariat and does not include extra days required due to the reasons caused by applicants (submitting supplementary documents, implementing corrective actions, etc.).

※ Conditions and required documents for application may vary according to Regulations of each accreditation scheme. Please refer to the Regulations of the applicable accreditation scheme.

Application Eligibility for Accreditation
Any legal entity that conducts testing, calibration, inspections, reference material production, medical testing, and proficiency testing regardless of the size, type or business scope of the organization, or the country it belongs to.

Applicants ineligible for Application
-Legal entities for which six months have not passed since their accreditation was refused
-Legal entities for which one year has not passed since their withdrawal of accreditation

Required Documents (variance depending on accreditation schemes) - Application form for accreditation as a KOLAS accredited CAB
- e-KOLAS registration and submission to the KOLAS Secretariat
– Fields and scope of accreditation
- CEO’s declaration of commitment
- General information (name of organization, address, legal status, organizational structure, main business, relationship with a parent origination, etc.)
- Information on current status of personnel
- Information on testing equipment
- Records on internal audit and management review
- Environmental condition of laboratories and the status of its maintenance and management
- List of the methods and procedures by testing items
- Participation records on proficiency tests and measurement audits
- Quality Manual and Procedures
- Contents of consulting and technical guidance relating to accreditation
- Record of estimation of measurement uncertainties on applied testing items
※ Please submit all the documents above as electronic files via e-KOLAS.


Calculation of Application Costs and Payment
Application fee: KRW 50,000
Document review fee: assessment allowance × number of assessment days (In general, three days for initial assessment and reassessment, one day for extension of accreditation scope—the number of days can be changeable, if necessary)
Assessment fee = assessment allowance × number of person-days for assessment + travel allowance

※ Assessment allowance shall be decided based on the fee applied to professional technicians in accordance with the “criteria for engineering service fee” from Article 14 of the Enforcement
Decree of the Engineering Industry Promotion Act. Travel allowance is paid in accordance with the provision of domestic travel allowances of the Rules on Travel Expenses of Government Officials (using the rate for Class V public officials).
Method of Payment: The application fee shall be paid together with the submission of the application for accreditation by attaching government revenue stamps and the document review fee and the assessment fee shall be paid within 10 days from the closing of the on-site assessment, via the account indicated on the assessment plan.

※ However, if KOLAS staff members or other government officials participate in the assessment as assessors, an applicant pays corresponding assessment fees (or document review fees) to the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards with government revenue stamps.
※ KOLAS Regulations on the Accreditation and Assessment of Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs)

Document Review
Upon the submission of an application form for accreditation as a KOLAS accredited CAB, the KOLAS Secretariat assigns a lead assessor and conducts document review on applicant’s quality system documents. Document review is conducted for initial assessment, reassessment and assessment for scope extension, and it can be carried out when there are major changes in quality systems of accredited CABs.
Document review takes about a month. After the review, based on document review results, an applicant implements corrective actions within 30 days for the items requiring supplementary actions, and submits the results to the KOLAS Secretariat.
Matters to be reviewed: Conformity of submitted application documents with accreditation criteria
Follow-up: If those documents are found insufficient or inappropriate for accreditation criteria, KOLAS requests the applicant to implement corrective actions within one month. If those actions are not taken within the given time period, the application is refused.

Once corrective actions are taken for every supplementary request, an assessment team is formed and conducts on-site assessments to assess implementation of documented quality systems and its competence to carry out testing and to secure evidence required for accreditation decision.

Assessments are made through interview, on-site observation, witnessed assessment and review of relevant documents.
The lead assessor holds team meetings before ending daily assessment, and provides summaries of daily assessment results to the assessed organization.
After the end of an assessment, the lead assessor creates an assessment report and submits it to the applicant and the Head of KOLAS (via e-KOLAS).
The applicant completes corrective actions regarding nonconformities within three months (one month, in case of surveillance) from the end of the assessment, and requests verification assessment to the Head of KOLAS. (If additional corrective actions are required, the applicant completes those actions within two weeks from the day of notification.)

Assessment Process: Establishment of an assessment plan → Notification of an on-site assessment plan (no later than seven days before the start of the assessment) → On-site assessment

Deliberation of Committee
When corrective actions for all nonconformities found in each stage of assessment process (document review, on-site assessment) are completed, the KOLAS Secretariat submits the assessment result to the Accreditation Committee. A committee meeting for deliberation shall be convened with the presence of a majority enrolled and a decision shall be reached with an approval from two thirds of the members present.

The Accreditation Committee deliberates the appropriateness of assessment process and the applicant’s competence as a testing laboratory.
The Chair of the Accreditation Committee submits deliberation results to the Head of KOLAS.

Upon receiving deliberation results from the Accreditation Committee, if it is judged that the applicant satisfies the relevant regulations, the Head of KOLAS accredits the applicant as a KOLAS conformity assessment body.

Details of Notification: accreditation number, accreditation date, name of the KOLAS accredited CAB, business registration number, term of validity, fields and scope of accreditation

Indication of Accreditation
KOLAS accredited conformity assessment bodies (CABs) may issue accredited reports with the KOLAS accreditation mark.

Term of Validity for KOLAS Accreditation
The effective period of accreditation for a KOLAS accredited CAB is four years from the date of accreditation, and in the case of extension of the scope of accreditation, the effective period is the remainder of the existing effective period.
Term of Validity for KOLAS Accreditation: four years from the initial accreditation date or from the date of accreditation renewal after reassessment

Application Deadline for Reassessment: no later than seven months before the expiry
※ Reassessment procedures are the same as the initial assessment for accreditation.

Reporting Key Changes
In the case of key changes like name of the organization and CEO (or the legal status arising from such acts as transfer of assignment), location of organization, key polices related to quality systems, the quality manager, the technical manager, KOLAS accredited CABs are required to notify the Head of KOLAS within one month in writing. In this case, the Head of KOLAS may conduct extraordinary surveillance if deemed necessary.

If the contents of the accreditation certificate have changed or the accreditation certificate has been lost or damaged, a KOLAS accredited CAB submits a request for the reissuance of the certificate to the Head of KOLAS with required documents.

If a KOLAS accredited CAB voluntarily suspends or terminates its activities for more than six months, it is required to submit the Report on Voluntary Suspension (Termination) to the Head of KOLAS. In case of termination, it is required to return the accreditation certificate. If a KOLAS accredited CAB intends to resume activities after voluntary suspension, it is required to submit to the Head of KOLAS the evidence which shows reasons for voluntary suspension have been resolved. In such a case, the Head of KOLAS may, if he or she deems it necessary, conduct assessment to verify whether its quality systems and technical requirements continue to comply with the accreditation criteria.

The Head of KOLAS is required to conduct surveillance within one year after initial accreditation and periodic surveillance within 18 months thereafter in order to verify whether or not a KOLAS accredited CAB continues to meet the accreditation criteria and after reassessment, surveillance is required within 24 months.

Extraordinary Surveillance (Article 24, Paragraph 2 of the Regulations of each accreditation scheme)
The Head of KOLAS may conduct extraordinary surveillance if any of the following cases arises:
- It has been discovered that a conflict arose regarding reports of a KOLAS accredited CAB or its report was issued in a fraudulent manner
- An appeal has been raised by a client
- Other cases that the Head of KOLAS regards as necessary
The Head of KOLAS may conduct extraordinary surveillance on a KOLAS accredited CABs without notice, and, in principle, the expenses for such surveillance are to be borne by the Accreditation Body.