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Monday, 4 August 2014

ISO Management Systems and Non UKAS Certification Companies

"The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS)  is the sole national accreditation body recognised by government to assess, against internationally agreed standards, organisations that provide certification, testing, inspection and calibration services. Accreditation by UKAS demonstrates the competence, impartiality and performance capability of these evaluators."

We have noticed that there are an increasing number of non-accredited organisations offering certification to various management standards, often at  a cheap rate.  Many offer to introduce, document and assess for a fixed fee and then issue a certificate of compliance. 

It is not always obvious that the certificates issued by these companies are not accepted as compliance to those standards but merely confirm that they are "certified" by that company.

A certificate of conformance to ISO9001:2008 or other Management Standards issued in the UK by a UKAS Accredited Certification Body guarantees that the organisation meets the requirements of the Standard. It will be accepted by everyone as evidence of compliance. Unfortunately a certificate issued by one of the non-UKAS companies does not.

The reason that UKAS accredited certification bodies offer the "real deal" is that they are regulated and inspected by UKAS and a certificate bearing the UKAS Logo is evidence that true compliance has been achieved

UKAS regulations state that consultancy and certification must be independent from each other.  The non UKAS companies are not governed or regulated, set up the system and then assess it; how could they fail?

We firmly believe that it should be illegal to claim that an organisation meets the requirements of this Standard or any other when it does not;  in the same way that it is illegal to claim that a product does something that it clearly does not (Trade Descriptions Act).

Look for the UKAS mark when selecting a certification body to ensure that your certificate is valid and will be accepted worldwide. 

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