ENAO was established as an autonomous federal government office having its own legal personality. The mandate of ENAO is to accredit, by formal third-party recognition, the competence of Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) to perform specific activities, such as test, calibrations, certifications or inspections.
As the national accreditation body, ENAO will:
supply accreditation services to laboratories (test and calibration), certification bodies and inspection bodies, both domestic and foreign, that operate both within the borders of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and outside its borders in countries where either no national accreditation body exists or where the national body lacks the capability to accredit in a specific field;
supply accreditation services in accordance with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17011, Conformity Assessment – General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies;
establish an accreditation symbol which may be used by accredited organizations in accordance with ENAO requirements;
conduct surveillance assessments on accredited organizations;
maintain and publicize directories of accredited, suspended and revoked organizations;
ensure that relevant regulatory bodies are informed of updates regarding accreditation status of ENAO accredited organizations;
cooperate with relevant stakeholders to develop and integrated and internationally recognized quality infrastructure wherein accredited organizations services are recognized globally;
develop accreditation services that promote, develop and maintain good regulatory practices;
represent Ethiopia's interests in international forums concerning accreditation and maintain bilateral and multilateral agreements in relation to accreditation;
supply accreditation related training services in order to maintain a high level of assessor competency;
perform other related activities which are necessary for the achievement of its objectives; and
seek to reach globally accepted mutual recognition of the validity of certificates/reports issued by its accredited Laboratories, Inspection Bodies and Certification Bodies.
The focus of its activities will ensure that the key sectors of Textiles, Construction, Leather, Agro-processing, Pharmaceutical/Chemical and Manufacturing which have been identified for accelerated development will be serviced. ENAO will therefore focus on these sectors and others as the demand grows in line with economic development.
ENAO's mission is to provide an internationally recognised, cost-effective, national accreditation service within the borders of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia which is aimed at :
supporting the credibility of the National Quality Infrastructure of Ethiopia;
supporting regional and international trade;
enhancing the protection of consumers;
and improve the competitiveness of Ethiopian produced products and services, in both the voluntary and regulatory areas.
The Ethiopian National Accreditation Office's vision is to be identified as a leading example where the credibility of an internationally recognized accreditation body plays a critical role in support of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) and in so doing increases economic development and reduces poverty within Ethiopia.
The non-acceptance of test and inspection data and certification results has been identified as a significant barrier to trade. Non acceptance of conformity assessment results is motivated by lack of confidence in the competence of those bodies producing such results and a lack of assurance that the exporting country complies with the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) Technical Barrier to Trade (WTO TBT) agreement.
The formal recognition of a body's competence to produce reliable conformity assessment results is generally accepted to be based on the process of accreditation. ENAO was therefore established to provide assurance to trading partners that accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies in Ethiopia are competent to test, calibrate, inspect or certify to the trading partners' requirements, while at the same time overcoming trade barriers by assuring compliance to the WTO TBT agreement.
Consequently, one of ENAO's medium-term goals in the next few years is to gain full recognition, by peer-evaluation, of the International Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation (ILAC) and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF). This recognition will ensure that organizations that are accredited by ENAO will be recognized internationally to produce reliable and traceable conformity assessment services.
ENAO also aims to provide the assurance to government regulators that a particular organization is technically competent to perform specific conformity assessment activities based on recognised and transparent criteria and procedures. A properly functioning technical regulation system can benefit the economy by balancing regulatory and trade interest, improving quality and consistency of technical regulations and supporting compliance with international requirements which supports good regulatory practices.
ENAO's Operational Model
ENAO makes use of the services of a pool of part-times assessors which it maintains by selecting suitably qualified and experienced candidates and placing them in its assessor training programmes which are held on a regular basis. ENAO contracts in these registered assessors as and when required and ensures that the expertise of the assessors match the technical capability for which the conformity assessment body is applying for accreditation.