Does ISO Carry Out Certification? Demystifying ISO’s Role

Does ISO Carry Out Certification? Demystifying ISO’s Role

When we think of international standards and certifications, ISO (International Organization for Standardization) often comes to mind. ISO sets the global standards that define product quality, safety, and efficiency across various industries. However, there’s a common misconception about ISO’s role – it doesn’t directly carry out certifications.

What ISO Does

ISO is a non-governmental organization that comprises members from national standardization bodies worldwide. Its primary mission is to develop and publish international standards that facilitate trade, ensure product quality, and promote innovation. ISO standards cover an extensive range of industries, from manufacturing and technology to healthcare and food safety.

ISO creates standards by convening experts and stakeholders to reach a consensus on the specifications, guidelines, and best practices for particular products, services, or systems. These standards are then made available to the public and are widely adopted across the globe.

Certification vs. Standardization

Certification, on the other hand, is the process of verifying that a product, service, or management system complies with a specific standard. Certification bodies, also known as registrars or certification authorities, are responsible for this process. They are independent organizations that conduct assessments, audits, and evaluations to determine if an entity meets the requirements of a particular ISO standard.

For instance, if a company wishes to obtain ISO 9001 certification, which focuses on quality management, they will engage with a certification body. This certification body will perform an audit of the company’s quality management system to verify compliance with ISO 9001 requirements. If the organization successfully meets these requirements, they receive ISO 9001 certification.

The Role of Certification Bodies

Certification bodies play a crucial role in the certification process. They must be accredited to ensure their competence, impartiality, and adherence to international standards for certification. Accreditation is typically done by national accreditation bodies or other recognized accreditation organizations.

These certification bodies work independently of ISO but use ISO standards as a reference for the criteria they assess. They have their own auditors who are trained to evaluate organizations seeking certification.

In Summary

ISO, as an organization, does not directly carry out certifications. Instead, it creates the standards that serve as a basis for certification. The actual certification process is performed by independent certification bodies. ISO’s role is to provide the framework of standards that organizations can use to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of their products, services, and systems, ultimately benefiting businesses and consumers worldwide.

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