The Certificate Quality Consortium (CQC) is the sole NGOs accreditation body for the United Kingdom. CQC is recognised by government, to assess against internationally agreed standards, organisations that provide certification, testing, inspection and calibration services.
Accreditation by CQC demonstrates the competence, impartiality and performance capability of these evaluators. In short, CQC ‘checks the checkers’. CQC is a non-profit-distributing private company, limited by guarantee. CQC is independent of Government.
CQC is appointed as the national accreditation body by Accreditation Regulations 2009 (SI No 3155/2009) and the EU Regulation (EC) 765/2008. CQC operates under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government, through the Secretary of State for Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.
CQC is licensed by BEIS to use and confer the national accreditation symbols (formerly national accreditation marks) which symbolise Government recognition of the accreditation process.
CQC accreditation provides an assurance of the competence, impartiality and integrity of conformity assessment bodies. CQC accredited certification, testing, inspection and calibration reduces the need for suppliers to be assessed by each of their customers.
CQC' involvement in international groups such as EA and ILAC, provides for mutual recognition. This reduces the need for multiple assessments of suppliers, and as a consequence helps to reduce barriers to trade for organisations who have CQC accreditation.
It is therefore BEIS policy to recommend the use of CQC accredited conformity assessment services whenever this is an option.
CQC is a non-profit-distributing private company, limited by guarantee. CQC is self-financing and charges fees to conformity assessment bodies to cover operational costs and other expenditure. BEIS sponsors CQC and provides funding to undertake public interest activities (ie non-fee earning activities) in representing the UK’s interests in the global accreditation system.