Obtaining and renewing your ISO certification involves the participation of several entities. Whilst this may seem complicated, STEP can guide you through the entire process. One of the most important entities involved in this process are Certification Bodies (CBs). This is a brief overview of what they are and do.
One of the more confusing aspects of ISO certification is that the International Standards Organisation (ISO) is not the entity that certifies individual businesses or other entities. This independent organisation is primarily responsible for developing and updating standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges. The responsibility of certification falls on Certification Bodies (CB). As a result, when you’re looking to get ISO 9001 certified, as an example, you would be dealing with the CB and not directly with ISO.
Dealing with ISO Certification Bodies
There are numerous CBs in Malta and Europe that are able to provide ISO certification. Understanding which ones best-fit into your sector and scope will go a long way towards streamlining the entire process.
For starters, there are two main types of CBs, accredited and non-accredited. Accredited CBs have obtained and follow the standards set out in ISO 17020. Just like any other certificate holder, they are audited on the processes which they must follow in order to issue their certificates.
In contrast, non-accredited CBs do not hold ISO 17020 certification and are, therefore, not required to follow any standard or regulation to issue a certificate. Needless to say, ISO certifications provided by non-accredited CBs are not as valuable or respected as those issued by accredited organisations.
As a business owner, you can choose to work with whichever CB you wish. STEP can help you identify the most suitable ones which have experience providing certification for similar businesses or ones that operate in your sector. We only work with accredited CBs and do not interfere with the negotiations between you and the CBs.
Our expertise allows us to advise you on the most appropriate CBs, since some hold a greater prestige than others. For example, holding ISO certification issued by Lloyds, an accredited CB of great repute, has a greater value than one issued by a relatively unknown alternative.
Once you have picked your CB, the organisation will appoint an auditor according to its own guidelines. This auditor will be responsible for certifying the company in the first instance and carrying out periodic audits in order to maintain the certificate for the 2nd and 3rd year, and carry out a recertification in the 4th year, as certification is done in 3 year cycles.
Choosing your CB with STEP
We have introduced hundreds of clients with accredited CBs and went on to obtain their ISO certification. Our team is ready to assist you with this important step and provide you with our advice and recommendations. In addition, if you already have a CB but are unhappy with it, we can help you change through a takeover process.
Get in touch with us today.
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