How to choose a Certification Body

QAS International provide consultancy services to develop and implement quality, safety, environmental and integrated management systems. Once the management system has been implemented, internally audited and a management review conducted, a company is ready for an independent (emphasis on independent) external/third party certification audit.

There are many certification bodies to choose from, and they do vary in price and the range of certification types they are qualified to perform. The following points should be considered when choosing a certification body.certification body

1. Independence

The most important criteria for a certifying authority is that they are independent to the consulting company, ensuring there is no conflict of interest as well as an objective review of the management system compliance.

2. JAS-ANZ Certification

In Australia and New Zealand JAS-ANZ (Joint Accreditation System of Australia New Zealand) is the organisation charged with providing accreditation to the conformity assessment bodies (certification bodies). The key aim of JAS-ANZ is to prevent unscrupulous certifiers from starting up certificate mills which pump out ISO 9001, AS 4801 or ISO 14001 certificates for a price, irrespective of the level of organisational compliance. JAS ANZ audit the certifying bodies to ensure certifiers are adhering to their requirements and you can CLICK HERE for more information on JAS-ANZ.

3. Cost

Certification body costs can vary significantly so obtain a few quotes and then make a decision based on all of the criteria listed here. Our experience indicates that expensive service does not always translate to value for money.

4. Certified Logos

Q: Whose logo do you get to use once you are certified?

A: The certifying body. The most commonly recognised CB logo is SAI Global (CLICK HERE) which has a red logo and five white ticks for Quality so if you absolutely must have this logo then you will need to choose SAI Global as your certifier. That said all CBs have their own very good logos, and these are usually Red or Blue for Quality, Yellow for Safety and Green for Environmental. For more information on what logos are on offer check these CB websites:

Note: if you are a JAS-ANZ accredited certification body and would like us to add your details to this page then contact us.

5. Audit Schedules

Certification audits are undertaken in a three-year cycle. What you need to find out is the cost of the following services:

Surveillance audits – these are yearly audits. The frequency of these audits is determined by the size of your organisation.

Recertification audits – these audits are conducted every three years and are more comprehensive than the surveillance audits.

6. Industry Experience

Establish whether the certification body has auditors with experience in your industry.

Conclusion

Our recommendation is to always obtain a few quotes from alternative certifying bodies. If a consultant insists on a specific certifier then probably don’t use the consultant as there is a good chance your system might not be up to standard and he has a deal going with the certifier. Your consultant should be able to provide you with options to help you find the most affordable and appropriate accreditation service for your business so CLICK HERE to contact us if you require further information.