The terms “certification” and “accreditation” are often used interchangeably by businesses, but is it correct? While it’s true that both certification and accreditation are essential parts of the Quality Management System, the specific requirements for each process are different.
So, why the confusion?
The ISO Standard Explained
The International Organization for Standardization creates countless international standards that can help guide companies in creating products and services that are quality-made, safe, and environmentally friendly.
Some of the best-known international standards include ISO 9001 (Quality Management,) ISO 27001 (Information Security,) ISO 14001 (Environmental,) and ISO 45001 (Health and Safety.)
There are instances when a company has to implement these quality management systems, and that’s where the confusion between ISO certification and accreditation often comes from.
Let’s understand the difference between the two.
Understanding ISO Certification
In the case of an ISO certification, an ISO-certified accreditation body will offer a company a written assurance (or a certificate) that a product or service meets the ISO-specific requirements.
During the certification process, an accredited certification body will run a series of conformity assessments to ensure that a product, system, or process is compliant with the requirements of a specific ISO standard.
If everything is in order, then the accredited certification body will create a written assurance and issue a certificate that testifies that indeed the company’s product, service, system, or process is compliant.
That’s where the main difference between ISO certification and accreditation occurs. As you can see, the certification bodies focus on ensuring that specific parts of a company are compliant, such as their products or processes. They don’t look at the company as a whole.
So, ISO certification applies only to certain aspects of a company while ISO accreditation applies to the company as a whole.
Understanding ISO Accreditation
An ISO accreditation shows that an organisation can perform quality checks and ISO testing. When a company is ISO accredited, it means that it has the necessary quality management systems in place to perform various tests according to certain international standards.
Here’s an example. Our company has received its ISO accreditation from JAS-ANZ, which is the internationally-recognised assessment body in Australia. This accreditation recognises our ability and competence to assess ISO compliance and issues written assurances that a company is compliant and can be certified.
Get Your ISO Certification from an ISO-Certified Accreditation Body
We are sure that there are lots of companies out there promising to get you certified in just a couple of weeks and at amazing rates. But, before you get lured by their offers, make sure that they are ISO-certified accreditation bodies. If you work with a company that doesn’t have the right accreditation, then the certification they will issue may be limited.
With Your Compliance, you will be working with one of Australia’s leading ISO consultants. We have vast experience and countless successful certification clients and can ensure that your company will be certification-ready in less than eight weeks.