American Association for Laboratory Accreditation

Inspection Body Accreditation Program

ISO/IEC 17020:2012 defines inspection as the examination of a product, process, service, or installation or design and determination of its conformity with specific requirements or, on the basis of professional judgment, with general requirements. Inspection can take place at all stages of the inspected item's lifecycle (including the design phase) and may include matters of quantity, quality, safety and fitness for use. Such work normally requires the exercise of professional judgment, in particular when assessing conformity. The inspection body field of accreditation also encompasses industry specific programs such as cannabis inspection and Special Inspections meeting the requirements of the International Building Code, cloud provider system security inspections under the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) and Crime Scene Investigation.

A2LA recognizes the very close relationship between inspection, sampling, laboratory testing and measurement, yet understands that inspection encompasses a variety of activities not covered in laboratory accreditation. These activities include examinations by qualified personnel of materials, products, components, assemblies, cargoes and consignments using techniques such as:

  • Visual examination
  • Visual comparison with standards (e.g. colour matching)
  • Dimensional checks
  • Examination using gauges and instruments
  • Virtual evaluations

An inspection body may also participate in testing, measurement or sampling and may apply for accreditation in multiple fields concurrently.

Accreditation Requirements

Inspection Bodies are assessed against the general criteria found within ISO/IEC 17020:2012 Requirements for the Operation of Various Types of Bodies Performing Inspection and ILAC P15-Application of ISO/IEC 17020 for the Accreditation of Inspection Bodies.

Click on the "Download Application Documents" button to the right to obtain all documents relevant to A2LA's Inspection Body accreditaton program.


In addition to the general Inspection Body accreditation program, sub-programs have been developed in the following areas, each of which has associated with it additional, A2LA-published specific requirements for accreditation:

Click on the sub-programs listed above for more information about each.

Acceptance/Recognition of Accreditation in this Program

Interested in learning how A2LA accreditation in this program may be accepted internationally as well as domestically by federal, state and private sector entities? Click on the following links for more information:

Advisory Committee

A2LA has developed an Inspection Body Advisory Committee (IBAC) to assist the Association by providing technical input on policy creation and decisions related to the accreditation of inspection bodies. If you wish to participate on the IBAC, we invite you to contact Beth Carbonella, A2LA Accreditation Manager, at