The aim of ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is to enhance the development of standardization and related activities all over the world. It is, merely, a worldwide federation with various nation’s standards bodies, as members. The goal was to facilitate the international exchange of goods and services and to develop cooperation in various spheres economic activity. To your business, ISO Certification provides an internationally tested framework of systematic approaches to conducting your business processes. The objective is that your organization would consistently turn out products conforming to customer expectations.
ISO Certification simply means that your organization has met the requirements of ISO standards and that the goods or services you are providing are of the quality as claimed. Being ISO certified assures your customers that you are delivering products (or services) that are of quality standard, consistently.
In a global marketplace, it is difficult to maintain consistency and quality across industries and nations. So checks and balances are required. Else, International standards help to keep a level playing field, and one such organization is ISO.
Difference between ISO Certification Bodies (CBs) or Accreditation Bodies (ABs)
Certification Bodies (CBs) explained:
The ISO has does not assess or provide certificates to organizations, itself. This is performed by external CBs.
To get your organization ISO certified, you need to apply for ISO with a CB who will audit your organization and may issue you an ISO certificate, based on whether or not your processes, products, and services fulfill the criteria as set by ISO.
These CBs act as a record-keeper, who are authorized to issue such Certificates on management system after checking or auditing that your business model conforms to the specific requirements.
The Certificate is a written assurance that there is a certain level of compliance within a particular area. It indicates that the service, product or system, that your organization is providing, satisfies specific requirements. It means that the offered products or services meet the expectations of the customer.
For some businesses – certification is necessitated by law or contract. You can also use these certificates in your advertising to clients to show that your products or services adhere to the ISO’s exacting standards, whether ISO 9001, ISO 18001, ISO 20000-1, ISO 22000, ISO 27001, ISO 31000, ISO 50001, ISO/TS16949:2009.
Once your organization or your department has been audited by the CB. And it has gone through all the steps as specified in the standards that you have applied for, ISO Certification is confirmed.
What are the Accreditation Bodies (ABs):
These CBs, in turn, need some sort of authentication to issue certificates, called Accreditation. Accreditation is provided to the CBS, by another type of organizations called ABs. ABs make sure that these CBs are competent enough to provide/issue certificates.
Some CBs exist, who provide unaccredited certificates which don’t carry any value.
Basically, Accreditation is a formal, third-party recognition of competence to perform particular tasks.
On top of the hierarchy is the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the European Accreditation Forum (EA), which ensures accreditation and, thereby, the certification process is uniform throughout the entire globe. Both accredit the National Accreditation Body (NAB) in each country that has arrangements in place to operate such a NAB.
So, in a way, it is the IAF which is the worldwide apex body that oversees the certification process and not ISO whose job is, only, to publish internationally acceptable standards.
Clients have to ensure their selected CB has been accredited by a NAB. For example, NAB provides accreditation to Engg. Colleges in India.
The CB that has been accredited by NAB agrees to abide by its stringent terms and conditions for assessing clients, to keeping documents supporting such assessments, managing orders, and processes.
IAF or even ISO do not provide any ranking/score or grade to certification bodies. (There are standards that have been developed by the ISO’s Committee on Conformity Assessment, or CASCO. Third-party establishments, adhering to these standards, in turn, can provide your company with ISO Certification.
Accredited status, therefore, assures prospective clients that this Body has completed the necessary steps to receive a specific designation and that it has been rigorously assessed.
Topmost Accreditation Bodies (ABs) & Certification Bodies (CBs) in India
You can get a list of ABs, on the official IAF website. A few operating in India are named below:
- BIS (Bureau Of Indian Standards) represents India in ISO,
- NABCB (National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies) is one of the accredited certification body in India that has CASCO standard.,
- National Accreditation Board for Testing & Calibration Laboratories (NABL),
- National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and healthcare providers (NABH), etc.
While the top CBs in India include:
- Bureau Veritas,
- Tuv SUD
- Intertek etc.
If you are looking to apply ISO, in India, call us at +91 8750008881, or mail email@example.com, we will help you implement all Management System Certification and help you choose the most suitable Certification Body and Accreditation Body. To know about the wide range of services on offer, do check our website at Finbucket.
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