ISO standards are a set of internationally recognized guidelines that help organizations improve their operations in various areas such as quality management, information security management, and more. Two of the most common terms associated with ISO standards are Accreditation and Certification. While these terms are often used interchangeably, they have different meanings.
Accreditation is the process by which an organization is authorized to perform a specific task or activity. In the context of ISO standards, Accreditation refers to the process by which a Certification body is authorized to perform Certification audits and issue certificates. Accreditation is granted by an independent third-party organization that assesses the Certification body’s competence and impartiality.
Certification, on the other hand, is the process by which an organization is recognized as having implemented a specific ISO standard. Certification is granted by a Certification body after it has conducted an audit of the organization’s processes and determined that they meet the requirements of the relevant ISO standard.
So, what is the difference between Accreditation and Certification? Accreditation is the process by which a Certification body is authorized to perform Certification audits and issue certificates, while Certification is the process by which an organization is recognized as having implemented a specific ISO standard. In other words, Accreditation is about the Certification body, while Certification is about the organization being certified.
It’s important to note that Accreditation and Certification are not the same as registration. Registration is the process by which a Certification body registers a certificate with a database or registry. This is done to provide a record of the Certification and to allow interested parties to verify the Certification.
Benefits of International Accreditation
Boost your reputation: The ISO Accreditation is a nationally and internationally recognized standard. The Accreditation is highly regarded among scientific circles, as it is an extremely specific Accreditation, relevant only to technical competence in laboratory environments. The standard, therefore, affords organizations more credibility and demonstrates the reliability of their testing, measurement, and calibration to customers, competitors, and stakeholders alike.
Compliance assurance: Gaining the ISO Accreditation is a fantastic way for all organizations to ensure that they remain in line with regulatory requirements and legislation. It clearly evidences adherence to safety requirements, which thereby satisfies authoritative bodies as well as customers and clients.
Performance guideline: Gaining the ISO Accreditation is not an easy task, and for good reason. It’s to be aspired to, as well as upheld. Consistent review of the standard means that organizations must remain at the top of their game, and ensure continued competency and data quality. In this way, clients, stakeholders, and employees themselves can be sure that the data produced in the organization is accurate and reliable, thereby further evidencing the quality and expertise of the organization.
Increase in business: With a better brand image in tow, assured compliance, and guidelines to ensure greater organizational performance, organizations are sure to increase their client pipeline. Clients can rest assured that the process is reliable and conducted in the correct manner. The ISO Accreditation therefore also gives organizations an advantage over the competition, as well as tendering opportunities internationally, due to its global recognition.
Save time and money: While the Accreditation can be seen as costly to undertake, this is significantly outweighed by its time and cost-saving benefits. Not only does it eliminate the need to retest products, but there is also no longer any requirement for supplier audits by independent parties.
Greater efficiency: Following the guidelines of the standard is a great way to increase operational efficiency and productivity. With the ability to continually evaluate staff procedures, methods, and equipment, organizations can make sure that their processes are producing the most accurate results, in the most efficient way.
Accreditation and Certification are two distinct processes that are often used interchangeably. Accreditation is the process by which a Certification body is authorized to perform Certification audits and issue certificates, while Certification is the process by which an organization is recognized as having implemented a specific ISO standard.