ISO stands for the International Standards Organisation and its headquarters are based in Geneva. It is made up of a group of approximately 50 member countries around the world with an aim to standardise the way we work or produce a product or service. Standards are put in place to ensure organisations run smoothly to a pre-determined set of criteria, and to ensure the organisation conforms to the criteria, and if not, it is recognised and corrected at an early stage.
The ISO itself develop International Standards but are not involved in their certification, and do not issue certificates for their standards. Your ISO Standard Certification audit will be carried out by an external certification body, whose job it is to ensure that the standard’s criteria are met, and who in turn work to an auditor standard ISO 17021 – You should always ensure that the certification body you chose does themselves hold accreditation to carry out this work.
Audits take many forms, first, second and third party audits, accredited audits & non-accredited audits. A qualified auditor will visit your company premises to assess management systems against the ISO/BS Standard that you need in place. A full report will be made, which often consists of recommendations to help your company with its continuous improvement.
The most common ISO Standard certifications are ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. The ISO 9001 management systems make sure that your products and services meet customers’ needs, and are fit for purpose. The ISO 14001 environmental management systems focus on an improved environmental performance.
Firstly, we recommend reading the small print; recently a director of IS Certification Services appeared in court, as an expert witness, on behalf of a company who had unwittingly signed a five-year certification contract with a non-accredited certification company. Here at IS Certification Services we only use the services of fully trained auditors working with accredited certification companies, and do not ask you to sign a contract. If you don’t like our service or we don’t look after you, then we don’t deserve to keep your business! We are an expanding company because we have a loyal customer base who trust us and recommend our services.
"You are free to walk away without any charges".
It is important to select a certification body that holds accreditation as it is obliged to use fully trained and accredited auditors. Non-accredited certification bodies are not required to do this and could employ any Tom, Dick or Harry, regardless of ability or experience.
"Your hard-earned money and reputation are at risk".
Yes, anyone can give you a certificate stating whatever you want, perhaps that you are an excellent brain surgeon. That may be the auditor’s opinion, and in a country of free speech everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but is the auditor skilled to make that judgement? Has the auditor been trained to find out? And has that judgement been accredited? If not, would you want them giving certification to someone with a few surgical tools to hand? I would hope not!
Some certification or accreditation bodies keep a register of all holders of certifications, but not all do. There are lots of fake certificates in place around the world. One method of checking validity is to visit the issuers web site to see if they hold a register of certificate holders. That way you can check that the certificate you are looking at is shown on the register, giving the same holder’s name and certification number. The web address to check may also be shown on the certificate itself. We frequently use auditors from IQS Audits Ltd, and certification issued by their auditors has also been checked by their scheme manager before issue. You can check certificates issued by them by visiting: www.iqsaudits.com - Clicking on the menu item "Certificate Authenticity" will present you with a search form allowing you to search by either the certificate number or company name and will present details of the certificate.
We can advise and help you to ensure all of the necessary documentation is in place for your chosen standard/s. We can help you to write the required procedures and policies for your chosen standard/s. You will find us easy to talk to, and willing to answer your standards-related questions for as long as you remain one of our clients.
"We also guarantee to match any genuine like-for-like quotation".