Below are some quick facts about certification. This page is intended for a UK audience, although much of the content may also be applicable to many other countries throughout the world.
Certification refers to the issuing of a written assurance (the Certificate) by an independent External Body (Certification Body) that has audited your management system and verified that it conforms to the requirements specified by the standard.
The formal recognition by an Accreditation Body / Board that a Certification Body is competent to carry out ISO Certification in specified business sectors.
- When is Certification Required?:
There is never any formal obligation for a company to obtain any ISO certification, although if a company claims to have gained certification then evidence must be available to substantiate that claim.
- Benefits of Certification:
Certification ensures that appropriate systems are in place to demonstrate that the relevant ISO standards are met, and thus that consistent standards are achieved. Consequentially, having an ISO certificate may give you a competitive advantage over a non-certified competitor. It is also true to say that certain contracts may only be open to companies holding specified ISO certifications due simply to policy decisions within the company that is seeking tenders. Finally, certification puts you on a level playing field with competitors that already have certification.
Whilst the government endorses ISO certification as a useful business tool, it is not compulsory for an organisation to be certified unless stated in the original tender qualifications requirements.