"Accreditation refers to third-party attestation related to a conformity assessment body conveying formal demonstration of its competence to carry out specific conformity assessment tasks" Accreditation, with its many potential benefits for the quality of goods and in the provision of services throughout the supply chain, is underpinning practical applications of an increasingly wide range of activities across all sectors of the economy, from fishing to forestry, construction to communications. Basically, it is an endorsement of a conformity assessment body’s (CAB's) competence, credibility, independence and integrity in carrying out its conformity assessment activities.
In everyday language the terms accreditation and certification are often used interchangeably. In the conformity assessment industry however, these terms have very different and specific meanings.
Certification is "third-party attestation related to products, processes, systems or persons." (ISO/ IEC 17000:2004)
More and more businesses are voluntarily choosing to be accredited as they recognize the internal efficiency that it brings and the opportunities to demonstrate best practice.