Free, updated guidelines providing organizations with "good practice" for publicizing their certification to the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards are now available on our Web site.

In the Introduction to the new edition of Publicizing your ISO 9001 or ISO 14001 certification, ISO tells users, "By using ISO's guidelines, you will avoid the pitfalls of false, misleading or confusing statements in your communications about ISO 9001 or ISO 14001 certification and thus avoid harming the credibility of your organization. If you follow the guidelines, you will be demonstrating the same rigour in your communications about certification as you have done in implementing your ISO 9001 quality management system or ISO 14001 environmental management system."

The guidelines are intended to help organizations apply good practice when publicizing, communicating and promoting their certification to stakeholders including staff, customers and business partners, and to the general public.

These guidelines will prove useful in preparing promotional and communication material such as press releases, advertisements, marketing brochures, videos, staff announcements, logos, slogans and catch lines for diverse media ranging from print and broadcasting, to Internet and multi-media applications, to signs, banners, vehicle fleets and so on.

The new edition has been updated to take account in particular of ISO 9001:2000, the single standard that has replaced the 1994 versions of ISO 9001, ISO 9002 and ISO 9003. Therefore, both the ISO 9000 (quality) and ISO 14000 (environment) families of standards now contain only one certification standard: respectively, ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14001:1996. An organization can have its quality or environmental management system audited against the relevant standard by a specialized independent body, which then issues a certificate of conformity.

Among the updated guidance, ISO emphasizes, "ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 give generic requirements for management systems, not requirements for specific products or services…In particular, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certification marks of conformity are not to be displayed on products, or on product packaging, or in any way that may be interpreted as denoting product conformity."

ISO itself does not audit organizations and does not issue ISO 9001 or ISO 14001 certificates. This is carried out independently of ISO by more than 750 certification bodies around the world. For this reason, ISO does not allow its logo to be used to promote certification to its standards and the new edition of the guidelines includes a clarification of this point and of others that are regularly the subject of enquiries from users to ISO.