Is your ISO Certification legit?

Is your ISO Certification legit?

Is your ISO Certification legit?

Organizations that are keen on thriving in a competitive and hostile business atmosphere often rely on getting an ISO certification. Among the most common standards organization choose to go with are:

  • ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems
  • ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems
  • ISO 45001 Occupational Safety and Health Management Systems
  • ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems
  • ISO/IEC 17025 Testing and Calibration for laboratories 
  • ISO 55001 Asset Management Systems
  • ISO 22000 HACCP Food Safety Management Systems
  • ISO/IEC 27000 information Security Management Systems

Fine, you’ve gone through the hard work to get your certification, but is it legit? Let’s face it. The world today has plenty of shadowy operators in the industry. It, therefore, becomes essential to ensure that the certification body that you engage in completing the independent, third-party certification of your Management System is truly accredited, and your certificate is genuine.

Can an ISO certificate be Fake?

The short answer is YES. Research has found that there are four main ways of faking ISO certification. These include:

  1. Unaccredited ISO Certificates– This means that the certification body that you chose for your third party audit wasn’t accredited at all, so, the certificate they issue you isn’t worth more than the paper it’s printed on.
  2. Counterfeit ISO certificates– Here, an organization uses document editing software and Photoshop to create a fake certificate.
  3. Implemented but not using ISO system-An organization has developed a management system but does not use it.
  4. Cooked papers ISO- This is where an organization uses the documents of another company’s management system to achieve certification.

How can you avoid all this? How can you check that the ISO certificate you’re issued, or that of a supplier is legit?

Here is how to check if an ISO certificate is legit.

You would ideally need to check with the accreditation body or certification body register to find out the status of the certificate. However, this process got muddled as not all certification bodies and accreditation bodies publish a register.

To solve this problem and to stem the rise of fake certificates, the IAF (International Accreditation Forum), has published a database of accredited management system certification referred to as CERT search. 

To use CERT search, you need to enter the company name or certificate number here, and the result will show you whether it’s a legit certificate.

What can you do if the CERT search shows your certificate is fake?

If your search indicates that either you or one of your suppliers has a fake certificate, you need to find out the following:

  • Does the management system conform to the ISO standard?
  • What do you need to do to transfer your certification to an accredited one?
  • Were there accomplices? Was anyone else aware that the system/certificate was safe?

Once this is done, you can:

Contact the body and institute legal action.

Contact ISO directly and report the situation through MSSComplaints@iso.org with all the details. ISO will then contact you within 14 days.

Getting duped on matters ISO certification can be a costly affair, so always carry out proper research when selecting your preferred certification body.

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