Saudi Accreditation Center to Enhance Quality, Protect Consumers
Saudi Arabia is looking to raise quality standards through the Saudi Accreditation Center (SAC), which revealed its objectives, including consumer protection, maintaining public health and safety, upgrade the quality and adequacy of services and products, and increase confidence in them.
The Center’s regulation shall include the definition of approved conformity assessment bodies, which are accredited by the Center.
The conformity assessment entails verifying that the specific requirements of a product, process, system or assessment body have been met.
The Center enjoys legal personality, financial and administrative independence, and is organizationally linked to the Minister of Trade and Investment. Its headquarters are located in Riyadh and, as required, may establish branches or offices within Saudi Arabia.
The Center shall establish all that is necessary to achieve its goals in acquiring accreditation bodies inside and outside the Kingdom.
This shall be done in accordance with the requirements approved by the board and the mutual recognition of the accreditation certificates of the conformity assessment bodies issued by the accreditation bodies in other countries in accordance with international practices and requirements.
SAC shall join international and regional organizations and bodies related to its activities and sign memorandums of understanding and agreements with them, in accordance with the established procedures.
It will also provide training services and qualify the assessors in the field of conformity assessment, as well as prepare a database of the center's activities. It shall coordinate with the governmental bodies in within the field of its activities, in order to contribute to the provision of data for the conformity assessment bodies for their adoption.
It shall also include studies, research and statistics relating to its activities and their publication in accordance with the rules and procedures established by the Council. The Center will also organize seminars and conferences related to its activities and represent the country in international and regional organizations.
The regulations of SAC were published after the Saudi cabinet has approved granting the Saudi Accreditation Committee independence, rebranding it as the Saudi Accreditation Center.
According to the regulations, the center will have a board of directors headed by the Minister of Trade and Investment, with representatives from the Ministry, Organization for Standardization, Metrology and Quality Organization, Food and Drug Authority, Building Code National Committee, and Consumer Protection Association, as well as three representatives from the private sector.
The board will be appointed by the cabinet upon the proposal of the Council of Saudi Chambers. Their term of office shall be three years and may be renewed for one time.
Article 6 provides that the board shall hold at least four meetings per year and whenever necessary, according to the discretion of its President, or upon the request of at least one third of its members.