ISO/IEC 17020:2012- Conformity Assessment for Inspection Bodies

What is ISO 17020?

ISO/IEC 17020 is the standard developed to assess the agencies’ competence for performing inspections and the consistency of their inspection activities without any partiality. This includes the agencies which perform the inspection of materials, products, installations, processes, or services. By complying with the ISO/IEC 17020 an inspection body is accredited by the authoritative body for the technical competence based on the third-party assessment.

ISO/IEC directives are used as a reference to the draft ISO 17020:2012 standard. Accreditation to ISO/IEC 17020 is governed by IAF MRA (International Accreditation Forum Multilateral Recognition Arrangement), as IAF is involved in the development of the guidelines related to accreditation activities this facilitates acceptance of the Inspection results between countries which MRA partners represent, which means when an inspection body is accredited to such bodies its inspection reports get global acceptance due to such mutual recognition.

In certain ways, ISO 17020 resembles ISO 9001. Its goal, however, is to ensure that inspection firms are truly independent. Furthermore, they have processes to ensure that their employees are neutral. As a result, it is a standard that validates those who measure things. It is the standard to inspect the inspection bodies. The ISO/IEC 17020 has categorized inspection bodies in three major categories as follows:

TYPE A – Refers to an inspection body which is an independent inspection body that is only engaged in inspection activities.
TYPE B – Refers to an inspection body providing inspections, only to the organization it forms a part of.
TYPE C – Inspection body means that the inspection body must implement safeguards within the organization to ensure proper segregation of responsibilities and accountability between inspection and other operations.

VIDEO : ISO 17020


Hassle-free ISO/IEC 17020 Certification with PQSmitra

PQSmitra has helped many organizations achieving this mark of excellence. The simple and practical method of system implementation helps organizations to set up a robust and effective system.
PQSmitra offers 100% support for documentation compliance in addition to onsite guidance for effective implementation. The implementation process is described below:

Simple & Practical Methodology


Initial Review

  • Review of the existing System
  • Finalizing the scope of certification
  • Gap analysis and planning for the documentation


  • Designing and developing of forms, formats, and procedures
  • Training on sector specific requirements and its implementation
  • 100% documentation support

Effective Verification

  • Routine assistance and system verification to ensure compliance to the requirements
  • Internal audit for verification of implemented system
  • Management review

Achieve Certification

  • Certification audit –
    Stage 1 & Stage 2
  • Closure of non-conformities support if any
  • Rewarding the certificate to the organization

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We ensure that ISO 17020 Certification adds value to your brand rather than distracting from it by getting counterfeit/local certification. Your certificate’s international traceability helps in passing the Certificate Verification process conducted by your overseas customers.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Quality System
  • Facilities and Equipment
  • Inspection Methods and Procedures.
  • Handling of Inspection Samples and Items
  • Inspection Reports.

The organization shall demonstrate continual improvement in this field by maintaining, establishing, implementing, and providing documented information.
The documented information required for ISO registration

  • The organization’s scope
  • The organizations Quality policy and Quality Objectives
  • A Quality Manual
  • Inspection Method
  • Sample risk assessment methodology
  • Any Organization Perform Inspections of Materials, Products, Installations, Processes, Services.
  • Improved Efficiency, Productivity, and Effectiveness
  • Worldwide Recognition and Credibility
  • Creates Professional Working Environment.
  • Increase your Customer’s Confidence and Trust
  • Gain a Competitive Market Advantage
  • Internationally recognition of the product due to label.
  • Year 1998 – Publication of ISO 17020 standard
  • Year 2012 – 1st Revision of the standard (10 Clauses and Risk assessment included)
  • The validity of the ISO 17020 Certification is 2 Years.
  • One year is the frequency of ISO audit for ISO 17020 Standards during the validity period.
  • ISO 17020 is applicable to inspection entities, while ISO 17025 is applicable to test and calibration entities. Only “passed” or “failed” inspection entities can vouch for “compliance.”
  • EN9100:2018, commonly known as AS 9100D or AS 9100, is the most recent AS9100 standard for companies that design, develop, or provide parts, components, and assemblies for the aviation, space, and defense industries.

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