Accreditation of inspection bodies and laboratories

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Checked 28 Jun 2022
2 min read
Nederlandse versie

Do you operate a certifying organisation, inspection body, or laboratory that offers product testing services? You need accreditation before you can test, inspect, or give out certificates. Accreditations are issued by the Dutch Accreditation Council (Raad voor Accreditatie, RvA). This accreditation is proof that your organisation works competently, impartially, and independently.

When do you need accreditation?

You need an accreditation if you assess products or processes. You issue a certificate or report (a declaration of conformity) after such an assessment. Such a certificate is needed to, for example, add a CE marking to a product. When your organisation issues these certificates, it is a conformity body. Conformity assessment bodies are:

  • laboratories
  • inspection bodies
  • certification bodies
  • verification bodies

If your conformity assessment body is accredited, you are allowed to, for instance:

  • assess noise emissions from particular machines
  • analyse soil samples, water bottom samples, groundwater samples, and fertilizer samples
  • take and analyse samples of tap water
  • examine DNA in criminal cases

Conditions for accreditation

You receive accreditation from the RvA if your organisation is expert, impartial, and independent. RvA uses international standards (ISO or ISO/IEC) to assess if you meet the requirements. The conditions for accreditation differ per service or product. RvA has a list with schemes for which accreditation can be granted (pdf, mostly Dutch). You can also find more information on all product groups and conditions in their Policy rule for the fields of Activities of RvA document (pdf). You may, for instance, need to have at least 1 establishment in the Netherlands. And you may also need a health and safety certificate.

Applying for an accreditation

Do you want to request an accreditation? Do the accreditation application quick scan to find out if you meer the conditions. If you want to extend your current accreditation, you can use the accreditation application tool directly.

Applying digitally through the Message Box

With Message Box you can submit a digital application for accreditation to the Dutch Accreditation Council (RvA). Message Box is a secure email system that enables you as an entrepreneur to exchange digital messages with Dutch government agencies.

EU accreditation

All European accreditation organisations are part of the European co-operation for Accreditation (EA). Are you already recognised by an accreditation body in another EU country? This accreditation is also valid in the Netherlands. Likewise, an RvA accreditation is valid in other EU countries.

The Nando Information System gives you an overview of notified bodies in the European Union.

Certification schemes

Does your organisation perform tests on products? You must perform these tests according to a certification scheme. These schemes can differ per product groep. When you determine that a product complies with safety, health, and enviromental standards, you can issue a certificate of approval to the applicant. With this certificate, the applicant can put the required CE marking on their product.


The RvA checks accredited organisations regularly to make sure they still meet the requirements and can retain their accreditation. Together with the The Netherlands Labour Authority (NLA), RvA monitors certifying and inspection bodies (in Dutch).

This webpage is part of an EU quality network

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