Accreditation of Permitting Bodies

What is permitting?

Permitting is a conformity assessment process carried out by a competent, recognized, and authorized entity, applied to a person (natural or legal) that performs certain activities and whose performance or condition with respect to said activities must be governed by certain legal or technical provisions. The outcome of the permitting process is the issuance of a report or documented attestation (in the form of a permit or license) that authorizes the person to carry out certain activities generally within a specified scope, domain, and or timeframe. In simple terms, permitting includes a study or analysis that is carried out on the conditions and characteristics of a person (natural or legal) to determine if said person qualifies to obtain a permit or license.

What are the requirements for an organization to become an ABA-Accredited permitting body?

The ABA program for the accreditation of permitting organizations is based on ISO 17020 complemented by additional elements from other management system standards and general best practices to ensure efficient, ethical, and transparent inspection processes that lead to the issuance of permits and licenses. ABA criteria document “ABA 17020 P – Criteria for the accreditation of bodies that carry out permitting activities.” contains all the requirements, in a simple and integrated manner, for the accreditation of organizations that carryout Permitting activities.

What are some of the guiding principles behind the ABA program for the accreditation of permitting organizations? 

• Leadership
• Inspection Quality
• Antibribery Controls
• Legal Compliance
• Continual Improvement

What is the procedure for achieving Accreditation?

1. The Permitting Body requests an accreditation proposal, indicating the scope of its permitting activities.

2. The Permitting Body submits to ABA an accreditation application, including the initial payment for the opening of the accreditation case file.

3. ABA conducts a review of the formal documents that reflect the Permitting Body’s policies that address the accreditation requirements.

4. ABA assesses the Permitting Body’s management system (it can be on-site or remotely, depending on the complexity of the process), to verify conformance with the accreditation requirements.


5. ABA conducts a due diligence process which may include making inquiries to pertinent authorities regarding the legal/compliance status and past performance of the body seeking accreditation.

6. the Permitting Body’s takes corrective action as necessary on any issues resulting from the Accreditation Assessment and/or due diligence process.

7. The Permitting Body’s pays any fees that be still outstanding.

8. The Permitting Body’s commits to a three-year surveillance program

9. The Accreditation Certificate is issued to the Permitting Body, valid for 3 years, subject to annual surveillance assessments.

How can an accreditation proposal be requested?

The latest accreditation fees are published on the ABA website However, if a specific, formal proposal is required, please request it by visiting:

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