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In our latest thought piece, we consider how companies can ask a few simple questions to ensure their certification offers real value and is recognized by clients and international orgnizations.
Not All Certifications Are Equal – A Simple Check To Save You Time and Money
If you want certification it is because you have identified that your business will make money from having it, or it is required by an organization you belong to. So you want to ensure that what you buy is going to be recognized by potential customers when you bid for contracts.
If you are a private security company (PSC) looking to join the International Code of Conduct Association (ICoCA) for Private Security Providers, then you need internationally recognized certification to one of the following: PSC.1, ISO 28007, or very soon ISO 18788 as part of becoming a full member.
The ICoCA has, as part of its Certification Procedure (Article 11.2.1) issued certification recognition statements for PSC.1 and ISO 28007; ISO 18788 is soon to be released. In the recognition statements they explicitly include the words: “such certification to ANSI/ASIS PSC.1-2012, [or ISO 28007] must have been obtained from an audit company accredited by a national accreditation body that is a member of the IAF/MLA.”
And the draft ICoCA ‘Certification Procedure’ includes “Members may present evidence of certification by an independent accredited certification body under the newly recognized standard as part of their completion of the ICoCA Certification Process.” With a footnote that states “Where applicable to a given standard, an “independent accredited certification body” shall be any auditor or group of auditors who have achieved accreditation from their national accreditation service to certify companies to the proposed standard, provided that their national accreditation service is a member of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and its multilateral agreement (MLA). In the event that IAF/MLA organisations are not applicable to a given standard, the Board will define criteria to ensure the competence and independence of external certification bodies.”
You can check to ensure what you are buying will be recognized by taking 3 simple due diligence steps:
- Ask any potential Certification Body to show their certificate of accreditation from their national Accreditation Body for the specific standard you are seeking.
- Check on the IAF MLA website to confirm whether that national Accreditation Body is part of the International Accreditation Forum Multilateral Recognition Agreement (IAF MLA) group.
- And if they are, then check with the Accreditation Body itself to confirm they have accredited that Certification Body for that specific standard.
At present only two national Accreditation Bodies have schemes in place as part of the IAF MLA to support these specialist standards due to their highly demanding and complex nature: The UK Accreditation Service (UKAS), and the US ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB).
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