Myth: Accreditation Guarantees Good Work

Fact: Accreditation may mean good quality work, or simply consistently poor quality

Accreditation is a verification process to confirm that an organisation follows defined procedures. While these procedures are good, this can provide confidence that the organisation’s work will be good as well. However, following poor procedures will only assure that a poor quality of work is produced. This was one of the often-cited problems with the original BS5750 QA system that, for organisations producing poor quality work or products, it could simply guarantee consistently poor quality results.

A more current example is an organisation, accredited to undertake BS4142:1997 assessments, using an ‘estimated background noise level.’ In reality, this was inconsistent with the BS4142:1997 method and the background noise level was guessed rather than being measured, so the entire ‘assessment’ was based on guesswork, despite being ‘accredited’!