to ISO management system standards
Organizations and companies often want to get certified to ISO’s management system standards (for example ISO 9001 or ISO 14001) although certification is not a requirement. The best reason for wanting to implement these standards is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of company operations.
A company may decide to seek certification for many reasons, as certification may:
- be a contractual or regulatory requirement
- be necessary to meet customer preferences
- fall within the context of a risk management programme, and
- help motivate staff by setting a clear goal for the development of its management system.
ISO does not perform certification
ISO develops International Standards, including management system standards such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 31000. However, it is not involved in the certification to any of the standards it develops. Certification is performed by external certification bodies, which are largely private. Therefore a company or organization cannot be certified by ISO.
Read more about how to publicize your ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004 certification in this pdf document.
When a company or organization is certified to an ISO standard they will receive a certificate from the certification body. Even though the name of the ISO standard appears on this certificate, it is not ISO that has issued it.
Although ISO does not perform certification, its Committee on Conformity Assessment (CASCO) has produced a number of standards that relate to the certification process. The voluntary criteria contained in these publications are an international consensus on good practice relating to certification. Companies and organizations usually operate their certification activities in accordance with these international standards. More information can be found by accessing the full list of CASCO Standards.
Choosing a certification body
When choosing a certification body, you should:
- Evaluate several certification bodies.
- Check if the certification body uses the relevant CASCO standard
- Check if it is accredited. Accreditation is not compulsory, and non-accreditation does not necessarily mean it is not reputable, but it does provide independent confirmation of competence. To find an accredited certification body, contact the national accreditation body in your country or visit the International Accreditation Forum.