The advantages of formal certification are many:
- An independent verification of the organisation's quality arrangements;
- Formal recognition, that is accepted world-wide;
- Continuing checks that the system is still valid;
- Requires evidence of continual improvement.
Systems that are not formally certified tend to drift over time. It is often the case that the system will deteriorate and the people involved with the quality management system are so close to it that they don't actually see the downward trend.
Where formal certification is used there is always a degree of uncertainty about the regular surveillance visits: "What will the assessor find?", "Will he/she still recommend continuing certification?"
It is this regular routine that ensures that the system retains that edge and still meets the needs of the organisation.
When all is said and done, the organisation wants to see some benefits from a quality management system and this can only really be achieved by third party certification.