Getting accredited is hard work, time-consuming, and expensive, with accreditation often costing tens of thousands of pounds. And there are lots of hoops to jump through.
So why become UKAS accredited? And if you decide to go ahead, how can you pass your UKAS accreditation? In this guide we'll explore some of these topics.
Should You Become UKAS Accredited?
Whether you should become UKAS accredited will largely depend on the size of your company and your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). The costs can be significant. But if you have the financial and time resources, UKAS accreditation can take your business to the next level by opening up the door to larger clients and framework deals.
- UKAS accreditation is optional for surveying companies. But some companies think it should be a requirement (mostly the larger ones)
Technically, there's no requirement for surveying companies to be UKAS accredited, although it's a hot topic in the asbestos industry. 47%  of the companies we surveyed think that UKAS should be a requirement for surveying. But when we drilled into the results, only 23%  of small companies (1-10 staff) think UKAS accreditation should be required.
- Getting accredited is expensive and time-intensive; it can cost tens of thousands of pounds
UKAS accreditation is considered a high cost for small businesses and could be an additional headache if you don't have many staff resources. So it might not be appealing for start-up companies or those below a certain size.
- UKAS accreditation opens the door to working at a higher level, and getting into framework deals and tenders
This is the reason most surveying companies get accredited. When you start doing business at a higher level (e.g. government tenders), it's a non-negotiable requirement that you have UKAS accreditation, to prove the quality of your work.
Obtaining UKAS Accreditation
For a deep-dive into what it takes to become UKAS accredited, check out our Guide to Obtaining and Maintaining UKAS Accreditation – kindly co-authored with Phil Allen who has a wealth of experience in this area.
Here are some key points:
- Start by following the HSG264 and HSG248 standards
You should already be following these standards. The main difference is you'll need to document your processes for consistency across surveyors.
- Complying with ISO 17020 (if you have ISO 9001)
If you are certified to ISO 9001:2015 you'll have an advantage as it will prove compliance with Clause 8 of ISO 17020 (Management Systems) and means you will already have most of the systems and processes.
- Complying with ISO 17020 (without ISO 9001)
Check out our co-authored guide with Phillip Allen which explains how to satisfy all 8 clauses of this international standard.