NAMAS is the UK's National Measurement Accreditation Service, a service of the National Physical Laboratory (NPL). NAMAS assesses, accredits and monitors calibration and testing laboratories. Subject to its comprehensive criteria, these laboratories are then authorized to issue formal certificates and reports for specific types of measurements and tests. NAMAS accreditation is applicable to most disciplines of testing and calibration performed in independent commercial laboratories, manufacturing organizations, educational establishments and government departments. There are over 1100 laboratories accredited in the UK and growth is very strong. NAMAS accreditation standards are consistent with European and international accreditation standards and the NAMAS Executive is active in organizations which promote the harmonization of accreditation practices and standards. These provide the framework for the development of bilateral and multilateral mutual recognition agreements between accreditation bodies. In the area of EMC testing, 17 laboratories have been accredited by NAMAS, the first in 1982. Many of the original accreditations were for military testing but more recently the emphasis has been on civilian testing. Of the eight current applications the majority are in this area, with the EC EMC Directive as the main impetus. Manufacturer's self declaration will be the primary route for signifying compliance with the Directive, accredited third party testing will give manufacturers an acceptable level of confidence in this declaration. Where a Technical Construction File is used to demonstrate compliance a report from a Competent Body will be required. NAMAS accreditation will be regarded by the DTI as the main indicator of competence in the selection of these bodies.
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