CAI was established on 1 January 1993 by the Ministry of Economy of the Czech Republic as allowance organisation (an institution receiving contributions from the state budget), and pursuant to Act No. 20/1993 Coll. CAI functioned as a state administration body. Since 1 November 1996 CAI was managed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT). On 1 July 1998 the Ministry of Industry and Trade issued a Resolution No. 135/98 entrusting the performance of accreditation to the public service company Czech Accreditation Institute (Český institut pro akreditaci, o.p.s.) which was subsequently authorised to perform accreditation under the Act No. 22/1997 Coll., on technical requirements for products.
CAI is EC notified as a national accreditation body to operate accreditation of the following bodies:
- Testing and Calibration Laboratories according to ČSN EN ISO/IEC 17025:2005 and ČSN EN ISO/IEC 17025:2018
- Medical laboratories according to ČSN EN ISO 15189:2013
- Inspection bodies according to ČSN EN ISO/IEC 17020:2012
- Bodies certifying products, processes and services according to ČSN EN ISO/IEC 17065:2013
- Bodies performing audit and certification of the management systems according to ČSN EN ISO/IEC 17021-1:2016
- Certification bodies providing certification of persons according to ČSN EN ISO/IEC 17024:2013
- Verification and validation bodies according to ČSN EN ISO 14065:2013
- Verifiers of environmental statements issued within the EMAS programme according to Regulation of the European Parliament and of Council No. 1221/2009
- Providers of proficiency testing schemes according to ČSN EN ISO/IEC 17043:2010
- Reference material producers according to ČSN EN ISO/IEC 17034:2017
Apart from provision of public beneficial services (see CAI´s Memorandum of Association and Statute), CAI is entitled to conduct additional activities, such as out-of-school education and workshops, organisation of courses and trainings, including lecturing and also publishing and editorial activities.
In the Czech Republic, CAI has developed an accreditation system, in compliance with international requirements and rules (established by EC and EA), which seeks an achievement of a system comparable with the systems used in EU and EFTA countries. The activity was therefore, from the outset, focused on international co-operation with an objective to become member in the reputable international organisations dealing with accreditation and a signatory of multilateral agreements.
CAI is currently a full member of:
- European cooperation for Accreditation (EA): regional organisation associating national accreditation bodies,
- International Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation (ILAC): international organisation associating accreditation bodies operating accreditation of laboratories and inspection bodies,
- International Accreditation Forum (IAF): international organisation associating accreditation bodies operating accreditation of certification bodies,
- Forum of the Accreditation and Licensing Bodies (FALB): forum of the accreditation and licensing bodies – EMAS,
- and a signatory of all existing multilateral agreements (EA MLA, ILAC MRA and IAF MLA).
Successful result of the mutual evaluation conducted by EA members (so called peer-evaluation) for individual accreditation fields is a precondition for becoming a signatory of multilateral agreements, which is then based on regularly repeated evaluations.