What is accreditation?
Accreditation (from Latin accredere, “give credence to”) is a term with several meanings in modern usage:
- determination of conformity with certain requirements,
- acknowledgment of special powers (status),
- the procedure that confirms that determination and the acknowledgment.
The independent and trusted third party is required to be involved in order to ensure the credibility among the consumer and the producer. The main method, providing such confidence, is accreditation. Accreditation is used to verify the quality of services which are difficult for the consumer to estimate simultaneously. Accreditation is radically different from licensing, that means only a permit for a certain activity. Non-governmental organization accreditation is the confirmation of the compliance of its activities with market, consumer, social standards and requirements. From the point of view of quality management, accreditation is the official recognition by third (independent) parties (frequently, expert groups) of the competence of a legal or natural person in the implementation of specific objectives. The accreditation means that its owner can guarantee to its clients the fulfillment of these tasks in accordance with the requirements of accreditation standards.
This definition requires some explanation:
- Recognition by third parties means that these parties are competent. Otherwise, accreditation will be void.
- Accreditation must be independent, i.e. third parties (see clause 1) cannot participate nor have an impact on the relationship between the accredited person and his clients.
- Standards must be set for accreditation. These standards include activities for which accreditation is to be granted, as well as accreditation rules.
Currently, accreditation is applied in almost all sectors of the economy.
Accreditation from the World Encyclopedia of Travel is voluntary and non-governmental. Accreditation from the World Encyclopedia of Travel can be granted to any organizations, regardless of their activities; the will of Applicant is sufficient. The Accreditation Commission does not impose requirements and does not force to implement special tasks. It is sufficient for accreditation to observe the criteria stated by the Applicant and to comply with the current legislation. Accreditation from the World Encyclopedia of Travel gives the Applicant the opportunity to upgrade its status, gain competitive and marketing advantages.
Accreditation is one of the key tools for improving the quality and competitiveness of goods and services, both within individual countries, and at the international level. Accreditation means that the company adheres to certain standards of activity. A high level of standards increases credibility to the company. The main goal of accreditation is to increase the level of confidence of all market participants: consumers, producers, professional communities, government services, experts and other interested parties.
Accreditation indicates that the accredited organization (or person) has reached the appropriate level of development. It has reliable mechanisms to constantly improve the quality of the work and provided services. In addition, there are other, no less important purposes of accreditation. All of them concern the improvement of the level of credibility among participants of economic activity.
The objectives of accreditation include:
- Assurance of external evaluation of the quality of performed work or services. It can be said that accreditation is a process similar to the audit. Its result is a conclusion about the compliance (or non-compliance) of the applicant with the established quality criteria. If the applicant meets the quality standards, accreditation is granted to him, and it’s recognized that his services have the specified level of quality;
- Identification of organizations and individuals trying to improve the quality of their work or services. Any accreditation implies the registration and accounting of organizations that have received accreditation (or try to obtain it). One of the purposes of accreditation is to select the best organizations in a certain field of activity (and to help familiarizing the consumers with their activities);
- Improvement of the provided services and works. Generally, accreditation implies the holding of further periodic confirmation of the standards of work or provided services. This circumstance helps to improve services for those who wish to retain accreditation;
- Decrease in participation of government bodies. State authorities can determine the requirements for accreditation. Documents (certificates, conclusions, etc.) for accreditation are issued on the basis of expert opinions of organizations engaged in accreditation activities. It makes possible to reduce the participation of the State in the relationship between economic actors;
- Acceptance of the results by all market participants. The availability of accreditation enables to recognize the results of work performed by different organizations. The objectives of accreditation imply the mutual recognition of certificates issued by different certification bodies;
- Encouraging market participants to improve services. Accreditation of certain market participants inevitably entails the desire of other participants to obtain accreditation in order to retain the competitive edge;
- Segmentation of the market. The explicit purpose of accreditation does not imply the separation of market participants into certain categories. However, the availability of accreditation can be used as an additional bonus for admission to participation in tenders, orders or funding (for example, to receive government contracts).
In general, the objectives of accreditation can be divided into two large groups:
- Ensuring the quality of the provided services or works,
- Development of the activities of market participants.
These goals increase credibility among all interested parties. It is important to note that neither accreditation nor the existence of any quality system can guarantee the absence of inconsistencies in the work. Accreditation only contributes to reducing the risk of such incidents.
The voluntary form of accreditation applies where there is no direct threat to the safety and health of citizens and the state. Government regulates this sphere, but it is limited by the level of laws, setting of rules, norms and principles of accreditation. However, it is necessary to pay attention to the indication of the form of accreditation, which regulate a particular type of activity.
After successful completion of accreditation, the applicant receives an Accreditation certificate and an Accreditation mark that are used for marketing purposes. A person who has received accreditation can use the sign of the accreditation system to distinguish his activities among other participants of economic relations. After accreditation, the accredited person must follow the rules, depending on the types of accredited activities and objects of accreditation. The use of the accreditation mark is voluntary. The organization or the person who received the accreditation has the right to decide whether to use the accreditation mark or not.
Procedure and conditions for accreditation
Accreditation is conducted in order to increase the efficiency of the applicant’s work and the formation of accounting information. Applicant for obtaining an Accreditation Certificate can only be a legal person.
Accreditation conditions. If the applicant has:
- Relevant documents and permits for the declared type of activity.
- The material and technical base (office/retail space, communications, office equipment, etc.).
- Qualified employees
Procedure for Accreditation
- A claimant applies for accreditation.
- The applicant pays for accreditation services. Payment is made by transfer of funds to the settlement account of the nonprofit organization, the World Encyclopedia of Travel Foundation in the form of voluntary charitable contribution to the statutory needs of the Foundation. The cost of accreditation and obtaining a certificate is 75 000 rubles. Annual confirmation of accreditation is 25 000 rubles.
After the application and payment, the claimant receives the status of “Applicant”.
- If the Application does not comply with the conditions of accreditation, or if false or misleading information is provided, the request for accreditation is denied.
- An applicant reserves the right to reconsider the Application if he removes the reasons that led to denial.
- The Commissioner of the World Encyclopedia of Travel visits the Applicant’s object to check the quality criteria stated by the Applicant.
- The object is evaluated.
- The certificate is obtained if the application is approved by the commissioner and a proper expert evaluation is received. The decision on the validity period of accreditation is adopted by the authorized Committee of the nonprofit organization, the World Encyclopedia of Travel Foundation.
- Accreditation is valid for one calendar year.
- The applicant can use the information on obtaining accreditation for advertising and marketing purposes.
- The portal “planetguide.ru” hosts an introductory article about the new holder of the Accreditation Certificate (requirements for the articles and illustrative materials).
- The advertising module about the new Certificate holder is placed on the website in the section “Accreditation” (on the news line and in the account of the Certificate holder) once a quarter.
- Information about the new Certificate holder is included in the Reference book.
- If the nonprofit organization, the World Encyclopedia of Travel Foundation hasn’t received claims against the accredited company during the validity period of the previous accreditation, the accreditation period can be extended for the next year.
- In case of repeated and regular renewals of accreditation, the Commissioner of the World Encyclopedia of Travel can visit the object to verify the criteria of services declared by the Applicant.
(The Applicant receives them after confirmation of accreditation):
- Accreditation Certificate.
- The right to use the logotype of the World Encyclopedia of Travel and information on accreditation for advertising and marketing purposes (it does not include output).
- Sketches of logotype of the World Encyclopedia of Travel for the production of advertising printed products.
- A set of stickers.
- Distribution of information about the organization in the catalog of accredited companies in the section “Accreditation” (on the news line and in the account of the Certificate holder).
- Publication of one advertising article in the electronic version of journal of the World Encyclopedia of Travel (since 2018).
- Publication of an advertising banner in the weekly newspaper of the World Encyclopedia of Travel (since 2018).
- Discount of 10% for advertising in print versions (since 2018).
- Discount of 10% when placing information about the organization in the Guidebook (since 2018).
Commercial Director of the World Encyclopedia of Travel Foundation