How to check Certifier Accreditation
While the specifics of the process outlined below are for Australia, the process is much the same in all countries. Terms may vary slightly, and you will need to find your own regional accrediting body. The 'accrediting body' (a mouthful, I know) is the organisation who formally oversees the certifiers, accredits them, audits them periodically and ensures they continue to comply with the requirements of the international standard ISO 17024 and guide ISO 17021. This includes requirements for qualifications, knowledge and skills, staff training and experience; for equipment, quality assurance procedures and sampling practices.
I have generally avoided links to individual pages, because web sites change and the links go out of date, so you may have to do a bit of hunting around for the right link.
- Locate the accrediting body for your region:
Others: find yours via the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) - look for a link on their website saying something like Member bodies or Signatories.
- On the JAS-ANZ site, look for a link to Accredited Bodies. You can use the link from their home page of JAS-ANZ or this direct link to the JAS-ANZ register. You should arrive on a page with more choices. Choose Accredited Bodies search.
- This will display a long list, alphabetically arranged.
You can just scroll down to the certifier you want, click their name and then check carefully under Schemes & Standards to ensure that ISO 9001 appears.
- Alternatively, filter to see only the bodies accredited to audit management systems. Choose Filter by program, then select Management systems. Filter again by choosing'Quality Management Systems scheme' under Schemes.
If you're feeling brave, choose the advanced search and enter your criteria. Good luck. I don't recommend this approach unless you really know what you're doing, because it's easy to not find what you are looking for, which is a weakness of the Register design.
Note that JAS-ANZ's register is a bit clunky to use and search. If you don't find the information you seek, it's probably worth making direct contact to double-check with them. If you're a DIY Kit customer of course, you can ask me.
Checking Accreditation in other countries ie, outside Australia
USA: Go to ANAB's website www.anab.org The link you want is called Search for a Certification Body. That takes you to a search page which even tells you how to use it. Much better than JAS-ANZ's.
UK: Not the easiest site to navigate unless you know what is what. Go to www.ukas.com and find the link to Accredited Bodies. Then choose the relevant link. For ISO 9001, choose QMS Certified Bodies.
Why or when would you do this?
- To double-check that a certifier does hold the accreditation they claim to hold, and thus is authorised to issue certificates to a Standard that are accepted internationally
- If you're choosing a certifier, and wanting to check up on a small certifier and/or one without a well-established name and reputation.
- If you have any misgivings or doubts about whether a particular certificate is shonky (issued by a certificate mill). Unfortunately, some are.
- Pay attention to the domain identifier (.org or .com etc). Some shonky people set up a fake website with the same first part (eg, jas-anz) but register it as a .com site to try and get traffic. And dollars presumably.
Author: Jane Bennett