Product Testing and Approval: Understanding Scopes of Accreditation

Understanding Scopes of Accreditation According to ILAC-G18:01/2024


Accurate and reliable product testing and type/pattern approval are important in ensuring the conformity and quality of a wide range of products. The International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) provides essential guidelines, specifically ILAC-G18:01/2024, to streamline describing Scopes of Accreditation. This article describes the details of ILAC-G18:01/2024, focusing on the product testing scope preparation.

Product Testing Landscape

Any product testing on today’s date has a specific national or international test standard or method. Many companies have their in-house standard preparation accustomed to their products. Adherence to product or test standards is very important. These standards often involve multidisciplinary tests, each contributing to the comprehensive evaluation of a product’s performance ranging from physical, mechanical, electrical, or electromagnetic compatibility, chemical etc. for the same product depending on the end application. Many times the challenge each faces is that specific tests may not be explicitly outlined in the standards. ILAC-G18:01/2024 recognises this challenge and guides how Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) can navigate this complexity within their Scopes of Accreditation.


CABs are advised to be transparent in communicating the limitations of their testing capabilities. If certain tests within a standard cannot be performed by the CAB, this should be explicitly stated in the scope of accreditation. ILAC-G18:01/2024 encourages CABs to either specify the applicable tests that fall within their testing capabilities or explicitly list the tests that are exempted from their scope of accreditation. This clarity ensures that stakeholders are aware of the extent of the CAB’s testing competency.

Recognizing the multidisciplinary nature of product testing, CABs should take a holistic approach to defining their scope. This involves considering the diverse range of tests that may apply to a specific product category. CABs play a pivotal role in upholding the integrity of conformity assessment, by aligning with the guidelines provided.