In Korea, KATS coordinates the conformity assessment system as mandated by the National Standards Act of 1999,
with the goal of harmonizing processes internationally.
Examples of accreditation programs overseen by KATS and its subordinates include:
Examples of certification programs in Korea include:
Korea Laboratory Accreditation Scheme (KOLAS)
Laboratory Accreditation Scheme (KOLAS) is a governmental accreditation
body established in 1992 and administered by KATS. KOLAS represents Korea in the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation
(ILAC) and the Asia Pacific Laboratory
Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC).
Foreign entities can
apply for KOLAS accreditation according to ILAC’s Principles for
Avoiding Duplication if their country is also a signatory to the ILAC MLA.
KOLAS offers accreditation in the fields of testing, calibration, inspection, and reference material production. In most cases, the accreditation process includes an application form with related documents, review of the application by the KOLAS secretariat, an on-site assessment, and further deliberation by KOLAS officials.
Proficiency testing is also a requirement for KOLAS accreditation. This process provides an opportunity to continuously improve the testing competence of laboratories.
Testing and Calibration
testing and calibration laboratories according to the requirements of ISO/IEC
inspection bodies according to the requirements of ISO/IEC
Reference Material Producers
The accreditation of
reference material producers was recently added to KOLAS’ capabilities. The program was initiated to provide users of
reference materials with increased confidence that the material is produced by
a competent body. KOLAS evaluates
applicants according to the requirements of ISO Guide 34, in combination with ISO/IEC 17025 where appropriate.
Korea Accreditation System (KAS)
Korea Accreditation Scheme (KAS) is the accreditation body administered by KATS
and responsible for assessment of product certification bodies. KAS is a signatory to the International Accreditation Forum Multilateral
Recognition Arrangement (IAF MLA) for accreditors of product certifiers.
KS Certification Scheme
The Korean Industrial
Standard (KS) Certification Scheme is carried out by the Korean Standards Association (KSA)
according to the Industrial Standardization Act. KS certification indicates that a particular
product meets relevant KS requirements.
The procedure for
obtaining KS Certification usually involves an application process and an
on-site audit or factory inspection.
Learn more about the KS Certification Scheme
Once a manufacturer
has been approved for KS Certification, they are granted use of the “KS mark” to
indicate their conformity to applicable requirements.
Learn more about the KS mark
Management System Certification (QMS and EMS)
The Korea Accreditation Board
(KAB) accredits certifiers of quality management systems and environment
management systems according to the requirements of ISO 9001 and ISO 140001,
respectively. Similar to other
accreditation processes, KAB accreditation normally involves an application and
on-site assessment, and can take approximately 5 months.