ISO/IEC 17040:2005 specifies the general requirements for the peer assessment process to be carried out by agreement groups of accreditation bodies or conformity assessment bodies. It addresses the structure and operation of the agreement group only insofar as they relate to the peer assessment process.
ISO/IEC 17040:2005 is not concerned with the wider issues of the arrangements for the formation, organization and management of the agreement group, and does not cover how the group will use peer assessment in deciding membership of the group. Such matters, which could for example include a procedure for applicants to appeal against decisions of the agreement group, are outside the scope of ISO/IEC 17040:2005.
ISO/IEC 17040:2005 is applicable to peer assessment of conformity assessment bodies performing activities such as testing, product certification, inspection, management system certification (sometimes also called registration), and personnel certification.
More than one type of activity can be included in a peer assessment process. This can be considered particularly appropriate when the body under assessment conducts combined assessments of multiple conformity assessment activities.
ISO/IEC 17040:2005 is also applicable to peer assessment amongst accreditation bodies, which is also known as peer evaluation.