The Belarusian State Centre for Accreditation (BSCA) is the National accreditation body of the Republic of Belarus in accordance with Article 1, Chapter 1 and Article 21, Chapter 3 of the Law on Conformity Assessment. BSCA has been solely entrusted by the Government of the Republic of Belarus to perform accreditation of conformity assessment bodies in accordance with the requirements of the national standard STB ISO 17011-2008 since August 30, 2010.
Accreditation authority and scope of activities are stipulated by the Accreditation Rules, approved by the State Committee for Standardization and included in the Register of Legal Acts of the Republic of Belarus. The basis for accreditation are either national standards of the Republic of Belarus (STB standards) or interstate standards of the Commonwealth of Independence States (GOST standards), which are identical to international standards developed by ISO and IEC.
The scope of BSCA activity embraces accreditation of testing, calibration (against STB ISO/IEC 17025) and verification (against national standard STB 941.3) laboratories, certification (GOST ISO/IEC 17065, GOST ISO/IEC 17021, STB ISO/IEC 17024) and inspection (GOST ISO/IEC 17020) bodies, as well as proficiency testing providers (GOST ISO/IEC 17043).
As for the international recognition, BSCA is an associate member of the European Co-operation for Accreditation (EA) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC). At present, BSCA has set about signing the EA Bilateral Agreement (BLA) and the ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) to achieve fully accepted use and recognition of results from accredited conformity assessment bodies in other countries.
BSCA also aims at gaining membership in the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) in the field of management systems, products, services, personnel.
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Accreditation activities in the field of conformity assessment have been carried out in the Republic of Belarus since 1989. At that time Belarus was a part of the USSR and accreditation was performed by Gosstandart of the USSR. The first accreditation was performed in 1990 – it was the testing laboratory of the Minsk city department of the Ministry for Emergency Situations of the Republic of Belarus, and then in 1991 – the metrological service of the Industrial Association “Gorizont”.
First state standards of the Republic of Belarus were issued in 1993 (STB 941 series), and they were harmonized with the European Standards EN 45000 series and ISO/IEC Guides 25, 54, 55, 58.
In 1993 the Central Accreditation Body was established on basis of the Committee for Standardization, Metrology and Certification of the Republic of Belarus (Belstandart). Accreditation was performed in accordance with the state standard STB 941.0-93 “System of accreditation of verification and testing laboratories in the republic of Belarus. Fundamentals”.
Since 1994 the functions for accreditation of calibration and testing laboratories have been delegated to six authorized accreditation bodies established on the basis of regional centers of standardization, metrology and certification. They performed their accreditation activities in accordance with the requirements of STB 941.0-93.
The requirements for certification bodies have been established in the state standards:
GOST 30488-97 “Certification bodies of personnel. General requirements” (an interstate standard which was applied in the Community of Independent States, harmonized with EN 45013-89)
STB EN 45011-99 “General requirements to certification bodies of products” (harmonized with EN 45011:1998)
STB EN 45012-99 “General requirements to certification/registration bodies of quality system” (harmonized with EN 45012:1998).
Since 2008 GOST 30488-97 “Certification bodies for personnel. General requirements” (harmonized with ISO/IEC 17024:2003) was applied for accreditation of personnel certification bodies.
Since 2000 STB EN 45010-2000 “General requirements to certification/registration bodies for products” (harmonized with EN 45010-1998) applied.
The number of accredited laboratories and Certification Bodies increased significantly in 1996-1997. Among the reasons was the catastrophic nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine. In 1991 the Law of the Republic of Belarus N 1227-XII of 12 November 1991 “On legal regime of territories suffered from radioactive pollution assessor a result of Chernobyl nuclear power station” entered into force and made accreditation mandatory for all units of radiation control which performed product and radiation safety measurements. This requirement on accreditation was further specified in the order of the Ministry of Emergencies N5 dated 06.02.1995. Similarly most governmental authorities specified accreditation as a mandatory condition in their sector specific regulations (at present the total number of such regulations is more than 150). This caused the increase in the demand of accreditation among the conformity assessment bodies.
In 2000 STB 50.01-2000 “System of accreditation of the Republic of Belarus. Basic provisions” came into force, which specified the main provisions related to the organization and performing accreditation of certification bodies, testing, verification and calibrating laboratories.
Bringing into force ISO standards 17000 series introduced a number of standards into operation: STB ISO/IEC 17025-2001, STB ISO/IEC 17000-2008, STB ISO/IEC 17011-2008, STB ISO/IEC 17040-2008. All these standards were identical to ISO/IEC versions.
The legal framework of accreditation in the Republic of Belarus is the Law of the Republic of Belarus “On conformity assessment with the requirements of technical normative legal acts in the field of technical regulation and standardization” of 5 January 2004 N 269-3. The Law was updated later and stays in force in version № 228-З of 31.12.2010. Chapter 3 of the Law is dedicated to accreditation and describes objectives and principles of accreditation, rights and obligations of applicants for accreditation and accredited CABs.
Following the requirement of the Regulation (EC) 765/2008 the sole National Accreditation Body – Republican Unitary Enterprise “Belarusian State Center for Accreditation” was established August 16, 2010. Since that date all bodies which were authorized to perform accreditation ceased their accreditation functions and accredited CABs were transferred to BSCA authority (Gosstandart orders N61 of 28.04.2010 and N118 of 30.04.2010).
BSCA has announced transition period and developed transition policy PL SM 4.6.1-2013 which sets basic provisions to ensure continual compliance of accredited CABs with the requirements of BSCA.