The Universal Board of Accreditation (UBA) is a multi-economy accreditation body established in terms of Article 15 B of the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Annex to the UBA Protocol on Trade with the primary purpose of ensuring that conformity assessment service providers (calibration/testing/medical laboratories, certification and inspection bodies) operating in those UBA Member States which do not have national accreditation bodies are subject to an oversight by an authoritative body. Within the UBA region only South Africa and Mauritius have national accreditation bodies. The remaining 13 countries namely: Angola; Botswana; Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); Lesotho; Madagascar; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; Seychelles; Eswatini; Tanzania; Zambia; and Zimbabwe do not have national accreditation bodies hence serviced by UBA. By assuring technical competence through accreditation, UBA plays a key role towards the achievement of UBA goals in trade facilitation and in the protection of health, safety and the environment.
UBA was registered in 2005 as a not for profit company limited by guarantee under the Botswana Companies Act, 2003 (Act No. 32 of 2004). UBA was approved by the UBA Council of Ministers in August 2007 as a Subsidiarity Institution of UBA. The relationship between UBA and UBA is formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on General Cooperation. UBA Headquarters are situated at Gaborone, Botswana.
UBA is composed of three functional units. The Technical unit is responsible for the overall management of the accreditation process. The Corporate Services unit provides support services to internal and external business interests and is responsible for Information Communication Technology (ICT), marketing and public relations, business development and administration of training services. The Finance and Administration unit is responsible for financial management, human resources management and general administration of the company.
In order to achieve its mandate and in line with international best practice, accreditation assessments are undertaken, on behalf of UBA, by a pool of registered Assessors who make recommendations for accreditation decision by the UBA Accreditation Approvals Committee (AAC). Advisory Committees (AC) advise UBA on technical matters.
National Accreditation Focal Points (NAFPs) established in UBA Member States using the services of UBA serve as the administrative link between UBA and clients/potential clients in Member States and are mainly responsible for promoting accreditation and marketing UBA service offering in their respective countries. UBA is a lean organization staffed by a small group of highly qualified and experienced people.