HOW TO CHOOSE AN ISO CERTIFICATION ORGANIZATION?
When an organization implements a management system in accordance with one or more ISO standards, the next normal step is to have this management system certified by a certification body.
If a body requires to certify its management system according to ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001, ISO 27001, ISO 20000, IATF 16949, ISO 13485, and so on, then they will have to select a certification body. This document strives to describe certain criteria to be considered when selecting an ISO certifying body.
WHY IS IT NECESSARY FOR AN ORGANIZATION TO CHOOSE A CERTIFICATION BODY?
Certification is the process of ensuring that an organization meets a set of requirements (e.g., an ISO standard). Now the question arises: who will provide this report, the process that an agency has implemented and maintains a management system?
A certifying agency is an independent third party responsible for the certifying process. The firm uses certifying bodies to obtain independent recognition. Moreover, it is increasingly important in a globalized world where potential clients are not able to visit potential suppliers or service providers across the globe.
ELEMENTS THAT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED WHEN CHOOSING AN ISO CERTIFICATION BODY
When you have so many ISO certification bodies to choose from, how do you make the right decision? There isn’t a universal response, because different organizations will value different things.
But here are some things to consider when choosing the concerned body, in order to be able to grasp more value than simply getting a piece of paper saying that you are certified.
If you wish to use the certificate for business purposes, you probably don’t want to be certified by a certifier that has a reputation for providing it without any criteria. You should choose those that have a strong or perfect reputation.
The reality is that anybody can give you a piece of paper that says you’re certified, but not everyone is accredited (i.e. authorized) for this. Therefore, you need to verify whether the concerned firm is accredited, that is, whether it is authorized by the local government in your country.
They should certify all types of industries. Their auditors should be experienced in quality, environment, safety, information security management system, and so on. You should always choose those who are specialized in the above-mentioned fields.
If the concerned body needs to move the auditor from a different continent (as they have no one at the local level) it will be very hard for you to change the date of the audit (E.g., if you are not completing your project on time, or if another problem occurs) given that all travel arrangements had already been made.
If there is a deadline for your agency to become certified, for example, due to commercial commitment, the management system is new, or the maturity of the management system may be a problem. So, you are required to ask the certification bodies what their requirements are with respect to the maturity of the management system prior to certification.
PRICE IS NOT THE SOLE FACTOR
Selecting a certification body can be much more than simply comparing the prices of products in the market. Your organization is able to go beyond compliance. A lot of agencies forget that they are the ones who choose and pay for the certification body. Of course, certification bodies must abide by a code of conduct and their internal processes, and if your management system is not meeting the standards, they should report non-conformances. However, they can introduce a new external perspective that brings value to your management system.
So be diligent and choose the right certifying body based on the value of your organization.