Welcome to the website of the Committee on Accreditation for Evaluation of Quality (CAEQ)

What is the CAEQ?

On behalf of competent authorities, the Committee on Accreditation for Evaluation of Quality (CAEQ) evaluates on an ongoing basis the competence of certification bodies registered in its accreditation program.

The CAEQ is an independent technical unit that covers all the accreditation services that have been offered since 1999 by the Conseil des appellations agroalimentaires du Québec (CAAQ) became the Conseil des appellations réservées et des termes valorisants (CARTV). A non-profit organization, the CAEQ is made up of an Accreditation Committee and its Secretariat, composed of staff from the CARTV.

The CAEQ’s evaluation services are offered worldwide to certification bodies, control bodies, as well as control authorities. Certification bodies operating in various countries may submit applications to the CAEQ in order to obtain accreditation for a given scope.

The CAEQ’s mandate

Since accreditation means the formal recognition of the technical and organizational competence of a body to provide a specific certification service as described in the scope of accreditation, the committee’s mandate is to:

  • Evaluate the competence of certification bodies and make recommendations regarding their initial accreditation or renewal to any competent authority to which these bodies have submitted an application;
  • Supervise certification bodies that have received accreditation for a given scope from an competent authority and report to this competent authority.

The evaluation of certification bodies’ competence covers three levels:

  1. The body’s staff with regards to:
    • its technical expertise;
    • the training that is provided;
    • its practical experience in the relevant technical field.
  2. The body’s technical infrastructure through:
    • the criteria used to make decisions;
    • the procedures that are applied to carry out assesments;
    • its premises and equipment.
  3. The body’s organizational structure with regards to:
    • its independence;
    • its impartiality;
    • its quality management.

International standards with which the CAEQ complies

The CAEQ evaluates certification bodies in accordance with a procedure that complies with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17011:2004. Requirements used by the CAEQ to assess the certification body competence are those established in any act or regulation that regulates the assessment activities of the said body. They must at least fulfill the requirements included in the ISO/IEC 17065:2012 (former ISO/IEC Guide 65).