Applying for accreditation

What we do

Here is a broad description of the broad steps involved in becoming accredited through UAS. More details are in the application pack. It is important to note that the length of time it takes to become accredited depends heavily on the quality and completeness of your application. If your application is incomplete, UAS will automatically return it to you for further action. We will do this as many times as is required. This will delay your application.

Can’t find a scheme you want accreditation for? so we can help you determine next steps.


You need to go through the pre-application process so we can assess your organisation’s suitability and determine if we can actually accredit your organisation.To do this, complete this application inquiry form. You will then be sent a link to a portal where you will be asked to submit information regarding your application. This is the pre-application form. UAS Secretariat staff will review the information provided, and indicate whether you will be able to proceed to the application stage.


If your organisation succeeds in the pre-application process, you can then start the assessment procedure. To do this you:

  • review the Accreditation Manual
  • sign the Applicants MOU
  • upload all required documentation through the portal
  • pay the application fee.

We review your application to decide if we can accept it. If your application is inadequate at the outset, we are under no obligation to progress your organisation to accreditation. Note: You need to be confident that your organisation can meet the conditions of accreditation and the criteria relating to the scope of application. This is all explained in the Accreditation Manual.


If your application is accepted:

  • Systems assessment—examine your documentation and conduct on-site visit. You need to invest time and effort in preparing system documentation since this stage is about you demonstrating to us that you are an acceptable risk.
  • Compliance assessment—conduct an office assessment and witness assessment. We do not accredit on documentation alone. You need to demonstrate to us that you can put your systems into practice.

Reporting on assessment and accreditation decision

UAS present its findings to the Accreditation Review Board for a decision on whether to grant accreditation and if conditions are to be placed on the accreditation.

If your application is approved you are issued a Certificate of Accreditation.
Not approved
If your application is not approved you are sent a letter by email outlining why. It could be that your application is not complete or contains errors. Or your application can be rejected on other grounds.

You are free to appeal our final decision or make a complaint following a set process.

Post accreditation compliance

If you are accredited, UAS will monitor your compliance throughout your four-year accreditation term—this provides you with important feedback on maintaining your systems and performance.
This will include scheduled and unscheduled:

  • surveillance visits, involving a range of activities. Our assessors may, for example, visit your premises to assess how you work, witness your performance, conduct probity and validation tests.
  • surveillance assessments. Our assessors will do this in your offices and they will want to observe your auditors with your clients.

The number of scheduled checks may go up or down over time based on your performance. If all goes well your accreditation continues until the end of the four-year term. If our surveillance highlights emerging problems, you will need to make changes and it could be that we will have to reduce the scope of your accreditation or terminate your accreditation. If this is the case you will be notified in writing of the reasons why and given the opportunity to appeal these decisions. Certification is a complex business and systems and practices can get out of alignment. With emerging problems it is critical that you let us know how you are responding. Are you solving the problem? Do you understand the underlying cause of the problem? Does your proposed solution convince us that you are in control? You inform UAS of what you are going to do through your portal. Then you are responsible for putting changes into practice. If variations have to be made to reduce the scope of your accreditation or terminate you accreditation then you will be notified of the reasons why and given the opportunity to appeal these decisions.

Costs and timeframes for gaining accreditation

These are common questions asked by applicants seeking UAS accreditation. There is no one precise answer, but the following information provides the factors that can effect the costs and timeframes associated within gaining accreditation from UAS.

How much will accreditation cost? The costs of accreditation differ based on the following factors:

  • Size of the body seeking accreditation
  • The complexity of the organisation, as this will have an effect on assessment durations
  • The number of sites from which services are offered
  • The number of schemes and standards that the body wishes to be accredited for
  • The technical scope that the body is seeking accreditation for, that is the number of technical sectors and
  • The number of countries that the body wishes to be accredited for.

These factors will affect the number and type of assessments to be undertaken during the initial assessment and for ongoing surveillance.Once accredited, the annual fees and certificate fees will be charged. These are published through our accreditation manual, available to all applicant and accredited bodies.

How long will it take for our organisation to become accredited after we apply?

The length of time that it will take to gain accreditation will be dependent on how well prepared the applicant is. The major issues that we encounter with applications that extend out the timeframes include:

  • Poor quality documentation.As a document review against the accreditation requirements is undertaken prior to an on-site assessment poor documentation may mean that there are several nonconformities that need to be addressed before the application can be progressed.
  • Lack of evidence of implementation of the structural requirements of the accreditation criteria.The criteria require particular structures to be formed, such as mechanisms to ensure impartiality.We often find that there is a lack of understanding around these requirements, and poor implementation.
  • Lack of evidence implementation of procedures.This is often detected at the initial assessment, where practices and procedures just do not match, and so nonconformities are raised that need to be addressed before accreditation can be granted.

If all is in good order, UAS can usually schedule the first visit within three months of receipt of application, with the complete process taking between 6-8 months from application to accreditation.


If your organisation is interested in becoming accredited we require detailed information so that we can complete a pre-application review. This information is detailed on a pre-application form which is accessible through our Conformity Assessment Body (CAB) portal. In order to access this portal, UAS staff will contact your organisation.Please fill in the following form and submit the form. You will receive a call from our administrator within three working days of submitting this form.


We take complaints seriously and deal with all ‘good faith’ complaints. We have a formal complaints policy which:

  • is fair, open and transparent.
  • is systematic and straightforward.
  • is confidential.
  • ensures we adopt a positive approach when managing complaints.
  • ensures we deal with complaints in a timely manner.

What is a ‘good faith’ complaint?

We only deal with good faith complaints. These are complaints that meet all these conditions:

  • are made only after the complainant has made every effort to resolve the problem before approaching UAS.
  • are substantiated with evidence.
  • are not subject to legal or regulatory or administrative action.
  • are not based on hearsay.
  • are not an attempt to discredit or engage in lobbying and/or influencing.
  • relate to the performance of an UAS employee or a certification or inspection body we have accredited.

How do I make a complaint?

All complaints must be made in writing to the Chief Executive Officer. Complete this complaints form and submit it to UAS.

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