why

     ISO BENCHMARK - ISO 9001 - ISO14001

Contact, Questions

Why to verify a certificate?

ISO standards are voluntary!

Within a free market and without legislation
first-rate and poor  certification chains
are on the market.

There are no illegal certificates but the legitimacy1 varies with the competence and impartiality of the certification and accreditation body. Some oft these bodies declares themselves as competent  and impartial and simply refers to the applicable Standards ISO17011/ISO17021.  Other are  audited by a independent party as it should be.
 1 Legitimate: conforming to recognized principles, accepted rules and standards

When you rely on suppliers certification it's a good practice to
evaluate the legitimacy/confidence of a certificates.

Reasons to verify the legitimacy of a certificate

  • Falsified certificates.
  • ±10% of the certificates are withdrawn
    Evidence:  the annual ISO Survey Data (2011 ,2012).
  • Unauthorized use of logo's on certificates.
    Evidence: ANAB , RvA , JAS-ANZ, .... are a few that gives information

The Certification Chains

ISO standards are voluntary! That's one of the reasons why in recent decades different certification chains has entered the market.

Over time the standards for the certification bodies ISO17021 and accreditation bodies ISO17011  has been developed to increase the confidence in certificates.
   Note : First issue dates - ISO 9001:1987   ISO 17011:2004 -  ISO 17021:2006.

Chain: A
⇓ YOU ⇓
Chain: B
IAF MLA
 ⇓ RECOGNISED ⇓
Chain: B2
IAF MoU
⇓ RECOGNISED ⇓
Chain: C
NOT
⇓ RECOGNISED ⇓
Chain: D
NOT
 ⇓ ACCREDITED ⇓
Chain: E
SELF
⇓ DECLARE ⇓
Not applicable Accreditation Body (AB)
Recognized based on its governmental status
// // //
// ISO 17011 audit
(by 3 IAF members)
ISO 17011 audit
None - Pending
ISO 17011 // //
Not applicable AB RECOGNISED MLA status
(Mutual Level Agreement)
AB RECOGNISED MoU status
(Memo of Understanding)
AB
Self Declared Conformance
// //
// ISO 17021 audits by the accreditation body
ISO 17021 audits (?)
ISO 17021 //
Audit by customer Certification Body (CB) Accredited (MLA status )
CB Accredited
(MoU status)
CB Accredited CB Self Declared Conformance Organization
ISO 9001, ISO14001, ... audit
 ISO 9001, ISO14001, ... audits
by the certification body
ISO 9001, ISO14001, ... audits (?)
ISO 9001, ISO14001, ... audits (?)
ISO 9001, ... audit
APPROVED
SUPPLIER
 CERTIFIED ORGANISATION CERTIFIED ORGANISATION CERTIFIED ORGANISATION CERTIFIED ORGANISATION CONFORMITY DECLARATION
(ISO 17050)
HIGHEST CONFIDENCE LEVEL HIGHEST CONFIDENCE LEVEL ** CONFIDENCE LEVEL ??? LOW CONFIDENCE LEVEL
THE CONFIDENCE LEVEL
DEPENDS ON COMPETENCES AND IMPARTIALITY OF INVOLVED PARTIES.

** CERTIFIED ONCE ACCEPTED EVERYWHERE

Chain Summary

The terms “Accredited” and “Recognized” means more or less certified against a standard.

  • Recognized is used for Accreditation Bodies (AB)
  • Accredited is used for Certification Bodies (CB)
    Certification body are also called Conformity Assessment Body (CAB) or "Registrar"

IAF-MLA

  • The Accreditation and the Certification Body is audited by an independent and competent party against the applicable ISO standard ‘and  mandatory IAF rules’.

IAF MoU status

  • Simply put, the Accreditation Body is audited by an IAF MLA Accreditation Body, but is not fully compliant.
  • As a consequence it’s not ensured that the Certification Body is compliant with the ISO standards.

Not recognized

  • Declare themselves as conform with the standard. Some of them even refers to the mandatory IAF rules.
  • Compliance with the applicable standards is not ensured by an independent and competent party.
  • As a consequence it’s not ensured that the Certification Body is compliant with the standards.

Not accredited

  • The Certification Body declares itself as conform.
    Compliance with the applicable standards is not ensured.
  • Some of them provides also consultancy which is against the requirements of ISO 17021.
Roger De Vos
QMS Consultant

Hof te Walle 44
8500 Kortrijk
Belgium

Tel: +32 56 201 996
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