In response to the requirements of the "Global Approach" in Germany, a national accreditation system has been established based on traditional experiences in the recognition of the competence of laboratories and certification bodies. In 1991, the German Accreditation Council (DAR) was founded as a coordinating body supported by the Federal and State Ministries and German industry. In this way, it was possible to organise coordinated representation in international bodies, to offer a forum for cooperation between authorities and industry, and to provide for a structure subdivided into sectors which better fits the needs of the industrial sectors and gives them the necessary transparency and acceptance. The DAR itself does not carry out accreditations. This is done by the accreditation bodies represented in the DAR and specialised in for specific subjects, thereby having a close connection with expert groups of a high technical competence in their specific technical fields. At the end of this paper, the procedure for the assessment of the technical competence of a laboratory, an important part of the accreditation, is described.