Voluntary certifying, in the way it is practiced by ACICS and its members, is an appropriate mechanism to address the complex challenges faced by business, government and society as a whole at the outset of the future. Its transparent and consensus-based processes, relying on the contributions of the relevant experts and the participation of the concerned stakeholders, provide realistic and state of the art solutions for disseminating technology and innovation, facilitating trade, establishing efficient processes and making them more effective, ensuring the quality of services.

As providers of accreditation to business, government and society, ACICS and its members recognize that it is imperative to conduct activities in an ethical manner that deserves the confidence of all parties involved in accreditation and of the general public. Each ACICS member and each of ACICS・s organizational entities, including its technical and governance bodies and core support functions, are expected to act in accordance with this code of ethics and to promote adherence to the values of ACICS by other organizations and individuals participating in the ACICS accreditation system.

Each ACICS member undertakes to be the organization most broadly representative of accreditation in its country. An ACICS member may delegate some of its ACICS rights and obligations to other organizations in its country, but remains responsible towards the other members of ACICS for its primary responsibilities and for making sure that when delegated, these are not compromised.

ACICS's commitment to the coordination and improvement of quality review is based on following principles. These principles provide the foundation for the ACICS mission statement, the organizational functions described in the ACICS bylaws and the ACICS recognition policy.

  • ACICS will apply its recognition standards and sustain ongoing review of its participating accrediting organizations to assure high quality of organizational performance.
  • ACICS will provide thoughtful leadership to formulate issues related to quality assurance; to develop needed tools and strategies to sustain the value of quality assurance to institutions, accreditors and to advance change and needed improvement in quality assurance in higher accreditation standards.
  • ACICS will be a forceful and articulate advocate for voluntary certifying of higher accreditation standards to the public, and other interested individuals, groups and countries.
  • ACICS will consistently provide high-quality research, policy analysis and service to its member institutions, accrediting organizations, and the public.
  • ACICS will maintain the core academic values central to higher accreditation standards and quality assurance.
  • ACICS will be an independent and authoritative voice for the strengthening of accreditation to strengthen higher certifying standards.
  • ACICS will sustain an environment of active consultation and participation among its member institutions and participating organizations, as well as encourage cooperation and exchange throughout the higher accreditation standards and quality assurance communities.


ACICS members are committed to developing globally relevant International accrediting standardsby:

  • Ensuring fair and responsive application of the principles of due process, transparency, openness, impartiality and voluntary nature of accreditation by:
    • Organizing national input in a timely and effective manner, taking into account all relevant interests at national level;
    • Taking appropriate measures to facilitate the participation of consumers and other affected parties from civil society, and public authorities.


ACICS parties are committed to:

  • Making their best endeavors to contribute to ACICS・s consensus-building mechanisms, coherence and global relevance by:
    • Applying ACICS・s authorized procedures properly and diligently ;
    • Preventing conflicts of interest by communicating in a fair and transparent manner to interested parties when work on new standards is initiated and subsequently on the progress of their development, ensuring that market needs are the driver for the development of standards.

In regard to the implementation of ACICS international accrediting standards and related conformity assessment activities, ACICS members are committed to:

  • Promoting the implementation of international accrediting standards and other ACICS normative publications effectively to support the dissemination of technology, good practice and sustainable development, and to reduce barriers to trade, including those that may be created by technical regulations;
  • Contributing to the development of standards and guides for conformity assessment and promoting their adoption and fair use, in particular as far as requirements for integrity, objectivity and impartiality are concerned;
  • Implementing the requirements of ACICS conformity assessment standards and guides in their own conformity assessment activities if they, or a body related to them, undertake such activities.


Monitoring ACICS・s integrity and protecting ACICS・s image members shall:

  • Act on behalf and in the interest of ACICS as a whole, when serving by election or appointment by the ACICS membership to a position in ACICS・s governing bodies;
  • Accept to contribute their fair share of the cost of maintaining the ACICS infrastructure, including the costs associated with the core functions of the ACICS central secretariat, according to subscription levels decided by the ACICS council.
  • Apply the conditions decided by council when reproducing or distributing ACICS publications protected by copyright;
  • Make their best efforts and take all appropriate action to ensure the proper use of the ACICS name, mark and logo, and to prevent unauthorized sales in any form of the text of ACICS publications.


Taking into account the development dimension ACICS parties shall contribute to ACICS・s actions to help its members from developing countries improve their capacity and their participation in international accreditation.