The Mauritius Accreditation Service (MAURITAS) has been established as a department within the Ministry responsible for the subject of Industry, following the adoption of the MAURITAS Act by the National Assembly in December 1998. The function of MAURITAS is to provide accreditation services to testing/calibration laboratories; inspection bodies; and certification bodies operating certification of products, personnel and management systems. Laboratories, inspection bodies and certification bodies are also termed conformity assessment bodies (CABs) since their main function is to determine conformity to standards and specifications.
Another important function of MAURITAS is to establish agreements on mutual recognition with other national, regional and international accreditation bodies and obtain and maintain international acceptance of the competence of organisations accredited by MAURITAS.
MAURITAS forms part of the National Quality Infrastructure and is responsible for ensuring that accredited bodies are competent to carry out work they undertake. The National Quality Infrastructure provides a global picture of the important roles to be played by Standards, Metrology and Accreditation.
What is accreditation?
Accreditation is defined as the procedure by which an authoritative body gives formal recognition that a body or person is competent to carry out specific tasks. The key words from the above definition in the process of accreditation are “authoritative”, formal recognition” and “competent”.
MAURITAS is the sole national authority in Mauritius
for granting accreditation to conformity assessment bodies involved in
calibration, testing, inspection and certification. Such bodies may be
engaged in conformity assessment for the benefit of Government, business
and consumers at large either in the voluntary or regulatory sector. MAURITAS
fulfils this function by assessing conformity assessment bodies (CABs)
to determine whether they are technically competent.
At the international level, the purpose of Accreditation is to remove technical barriers to trade by ensuring that the results of conformity assessment are accepted and recognized among trading partners. Accreditation also improves the quality and reliability of services provided to local users of conformity assessment bodies and is thus important at the national level for the protection of the health and safety of the population and for the protection of the environment.
Is MAURITAS accreditation recognized internationally?
In order to be able to grant accreditation to Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs), MAURITAS itself must comply with ISO/IEC 17011- Conformity assessment -- Requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies. This standard sets out the requirements for the competence, consistent operation and impartiality of accreditation bodies assessing and accrediting Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs).
MAURITAS has been peer evaluated by AFRAC (African Accreditation Cooperation) in accordance with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17011:2004 and since 25th September 2018, MAURITAS achieved signatory status in the African Accreditation Cooperation (AFRAC) Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) to the following scopes:
AFRAC being signatory to the ILAC MRA (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation Mutual Recognition Arrangement) and IAF MLA (International Accreditation Forum Multilateral Recognition Agreement), makes MAURITAS de facto internationally recognized by ILAC and IAF.
MAURITAS is a full member of ILAC since 04th October 2018.
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