We’ve gone over the meaning of ISO and what it means to be ISO compliant. But those of you not familiar with these concepts might now want to know more about certification and its importance. Here’s a little information about what ISO certification means and what it does not.
What ISO Certification Means and What it Does Not
According to the International Organization for Standardization, certification is defined as “the provision by an independent body of written assurance (a certificate) that the product, service or system in question meets specific requirements.”
In simple terms, it means that a business is following standards that make it a strong, reliable company.
It’s important to note that ISO develops international standards. It is NOT involved in their certification, and ISO does not issue certificates. This is performed by external certification bodies.
In other words, a company or organization cannot claim to be certified by the organization ISO. In fact, a better way to phrase an organization’s certification of its quality management system (QMS) is to say “ISO 9001 certified” or that you have an “ISO 9001:2015 certification.” It is not accurate to say you are “ISO certified” or have “ISO certification.”
However, as stated on the ISO website, ISO’s Committee on Conformity Assessment (CASCO) has produced standards related to the certification process that are used by certification bodies.
What are Certification Bodies?
Certification bodies, also called registrars, audit organizations and certify that they are conforming to management system standards.
Simply stated, ISO sets the standards, and the certification bodies determine whether or not businesses are following them.
Further, certification bodies can be accredited as well. To find an accredited certification body, a good resource to use is the International Accreditation Forum.
How to Choose a Certification Body
ISO recommends that you do a few things before choosing a certification body.
• Evaluate several certification bodies.
• Check if the certification body uses the relevant CASCO standard.
• Check if it is accredited. Accreditation is not required and lack of accreditation does not mean the organization is not reliable. However, it does show that an independent organization confirms the body’s competence.
Contact Trident QMS for More Information
If you want more information about what ISO certification means and what it does not, we would be happy to answer your questions. We’re also here to help if you need an experienced team to assist you in preparing for your audit. We can be reached through our Trident QMS website or by phone at 520-314-4343.