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Accreditation is a process in which certification of competency, authority, or credibility is presented.
Organizations that issue credentials or certify third parties against official standards are themselves formally accredited by accreditation bodies (such as UKAS); hence they are sometimes known as "accredited certification bodies". The accreditation process ensures that their certification practices are acceptable, typically meaning that they are competent to test and certify third parties, behave ethically and employ suitable quality assurance.
Accreditation processes are used in a wide variety of fields:
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Accreditation bodies operate according to ISO/IEC 17011. Accredited entities in specific sectors must provide evidence to the accreditation body that they conform to other standards in the same series: