Accreditation - Accreditation is a voluntary process that an entity, such as a certification program, may elect to undergo. In accreditation a non-governmental agency grants recognition to the organization, after verifying that it meets published standards. Accreditation functions are performed by an independent third party, whose responsibility is to assess the applicant organization's compliance with the published accreditation standards. Accreditation is awarded for a finite period of time and requires renewal.
Audit - The process of conducting an evaluation of an entity's compliance with published standards. This is also referred to as a program audit.
Auditor - This refers to the individual(s) with the requisite skills and knowledge to conduct an evaluation of an entity's compliance with published standards. Auditors are trained to evaluate with every component of the entity under review for compliance with the standards.