Evaluation of the current accreditation mechanisms of the inspection bodies to iso/iec 17020:2012.

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Makeche, Esther
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The University of Zambia
ABSTRACT Accreditation is the recognition that a facility or an institution can produce accurate results within acceptable limits on a consistent and substantial basis, thereby confirming the technical competency of the inspection body. This study aimed to evaluate the current accreditation mechanisms of the inspection bodies in Zambia to ISO 17020. Using a structured questionnaire, a cross-study was conducted to investigate the current accreditation mechanisms of inspection bodies in Zambia, particularly in the Lusaka District. Data management and analysis were performed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 25. The study targeted the inspection bodies in Lusaka due to the abundance of inspectors and the many food manufacturing activities in the district. The sampling was purposively targeted at inspectors from two different inspection organisations. Thirty-four inspectors from the Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency (ZCSA) and Lusaka City Council (LCC) were interviewed. The study revealed that inspection bodies were not accredited to ISO/IEC 17020:2012 despite being willing to be accredited to the international standard. The study further revealed that the inspectors had good levels of ISO/IEC 17020:2012 knowledge; and that the inspection bodies have necessary inspection procedures which are identified, developed, documented, and implemented. Accreditation of inspection bodies to ISO/IEC 17020:2012 can promote confidence in bodies performing inspections in Lusaka, Zambia, as this will ensure that the inspection bodies carry out their inspection activities in a competent, consistent, and impartial manner, thus allowing them to use their professional judgments in the execution of their duties to enhance customer satisfaction.
Thesis of Master of One Health Food Safety.