The Certification Process

  • What is the certification process?

    Illustrated right, this is the process by which an external, independent certification body audits your organisation against the requirements of a particular standard (most often, but not always, an ISO Standard) and decides whether you are conforming to those requirements. If you are, you gain certification and then need to be audited again at regular intervals to keep the certification.

    When considering certification it is very important that you choose a certification body that is itself operating to internationally recognised standards. If you don’t you could end up with something of no real value to your organisation and that your customers refuse to accept. To avoid this potential pitfall make sure the certification body you use is accredited by UKAS, if in the UK or if elsewhere, by an equivalent member of IAF, the International Accreditation Forum.

    UKAS newsletter on why this is important 

    IAF members worldwide

  • Certification process diagram
  • Can I use a standard without certification?

    Yes you can. Using any standard to help you improve your management systems has tangible benefits even without certification. Those benefits are explained on our individual pages for each standard. However, without certification you would lose the following benefits

    • increased competitive advantage – customers often demand accreditation to a particular standard or standards when inviting tenders
    • external recognition – without certification it is doubtful you would be able to satisfy other organisations (and particularly your customers) that you were properly adhering to the standard
  • How we can help you gain and maintain certification

    We do not offer “off the shelf” set price certification packages. We have many qualified and very experienced Lead Auditors in a wide range of standards and are experts in

    • training organisations in the requirements of various standards and how to best implement them to gain real benefit for their particular organisations
    • supporting management teams through the ISO certification process – we only work with certification bodies approved by UKAS or, outside of the UK, members of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF)
    • conducting readiness reviews/gap analysis in preparation for certification audits