§ Mr. Wheeler
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has any proposals for the accreditation of organisations concerned with standards for electrical equipment; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Butcher
[pursuant to the reply, 1 February 1985, c. 352]: The White Paper "Standards Quality & International Competitiveness" (Cmnd. 8621) identified the considerable industrial and trade benefits to be had from the voluntary accreditation of certification bodies. Accordingly in May 1984 the Government signed a memorandum of understanding with the British Standards Institution under which the National Accreditation Council for Certification Bodies has been established. The council will assess applicant certification bodies against published criteria, which are now being developed, and the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry will then decide whether to grant accreditation. Accreditation, which will be available to any qualifying body, including those concerned with electrical equipment, is expected to commence in summer this year.