Accreditation's gate in France

General introduction to Cofrac

General introduction to Cofrac

Founded in 1994 under the law of 1 July 1901, Cofrac was designated as the sole national accreditation body by the Decree of 19 December 2008, thus recognising accreditation as an undertaking with public authority.

All bodies with an interest linked to accreditation are represented within the General Assembly and the Board of Administrators, as well as in any decision-making processes.

It includes representation from various parties with an interest in accreditation thanks to the active members of Cofrac assigned as follows to the three colleges present on the Board of Administrators and the General Assembly:

College AAccredited bodies or their groupings
College BProfessional groupings of companies or persons, representative organisations of buyers using or potentially using services provided by bodies from College A
College CRepresentatives of national interests (State, State agencies, national institutes, consumers, users or environmental protection associations) responsible for a state function or the defence of collective interests

Qualified persons are admitted as associate members.

Cofrac is also a permanent team more than 150 people, all of whom are based in Paris (12th district) not far from Gare de Lyon.

Four sections manage the accreditations:

1. Laboratories, which is itself broken down into four sub-sections: Biology-Agri-food, Chemistry-Environment, Physics-Mechanical, and Building-Electricity
2. Inspection
3. Certifications
4. Healthcare

Around 250 quality control assessors and more than 1,200 technical assessors are regularly assigned work by Cofrac.

Cofrac has no related bodies other than the employers of external assessors working for it.

Around the permanent structure: an internal audit commission charged with regular assessment of the correct functioning of accreditation and Cofrac’s compliance with the requirements applicable to accreditation bodies, and four section committees, corresponding to the four sections. Accreditation Committees are attached to each section Committee. All those bodies are represented by 280 members.