Many organizations don’t. Knowing the difference could save you time and money. Many companies need to know if they are required to have an accredited registration, or whether they can choose another type of registration. Do you know about the differences in registrations? We know that choosing to develop an ISO system, and become registered and choosing the right organization to perform your audits, is a critical business decision. Some companies are required by their customers to have accredited registration, but other customers just require an organization to have an effective ISO system that is audited by an outside source. We can help you and your organization make the best registration choice for your companies requirements.
Two Main Players to Accreditation:
∗ Accreditation Bodies (AB)
∗ Registrars (CB/CAB)
Accreditation Bodies (AB) and registrars (also known as certification bodies CBs) are accredited, and companies (you) are registered or certified.
For more information and to download, print or email our brochure that was developed to help explain the world of registration, please click the following image.
The two most common type of audits are:
∗ Registered (Accredited)
∗ Certified (Compliance)
Accredited Registrations are performed by a registrar that is overseen by another party called an Accreditation Body (AB). Certain industries such as Aerospace, Automotive (tier 1) or certain Medical companies MUST have an accredited audit and registration. Some customers do not require accreditation and may only require a Compliance Certification.
Each country has an AB and have similar requirements.
They are audited to the same ISO 17011:2004 standard
which is the “General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies, which are the Registrars, or also called CB’s or CAB’s. In order for an AB to maintain the status they are peer reviewed.
Since AB’s are peer reviewed and mutually recognized AB’s are now recognizing each other as equals worldwide. This is through the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) through mutual recognition. Since all AB’s recognized under IAF are equal, companies looking for accredited registration are free to choose any of these registrars.
There are many CB’s around the world accredited by one
or more AB. They are audited to the ISO 17021 standard
plus each specialized standard or industry, such as
ISO 9001, ISO 14001, AS 9100, ISO 13485, etc. Accredited
registrar’s are regularly audited by their AB’s to ensure
they remain competent to undertake operations and remain free of conflicts of interest that may bias an audit.
Registrars not accredited by an AB still perform audits
using the same requirements or they may work with registrars that are accredited. Such registrars may also be audited by outside sources to maintain their system and to remain un-biased. As a organization, you need to determine whether you need accredited registration. Always ask about a registrars accreditation status.
This is the same as an accredited audit but without being overseen by an AB. The same auditors, paperwork and processes are used as in the accredited audits. Both types of audits start with a documentation review. When completed and approved an initial assessment onsite
is done. Annual Surveillance/maintenance audits are performed to ensure the system is effective. The major difference between these types of audits is the cost. Always choose a registrar that follows requirements of the standard even though they aren’t being overseen by an AB.
For each standard and industry qualifications all AB’s and Registrars (CB’s) pay fees. They are required to have observed audits which are very costly and are more numerous than standard ISO audits. Many registrars also are required to pay a percentage to the
AB’s for each and every certificate registered/certified. This cost is passed on to you in daily rates, yearly fees, accreditation fees, maintenance fees, etc.
This type of audit is an audit of a system similar to the previous audits. This audit is a picture in time, and the certificate shows that as of that certain date the organization met the requirements. A certificate is good as long as your customer accepts it. Normally this type of audit does not have follow up annual surveillance audits.
ISO Auditing Practices Group
*IAF– International Accreditation Forum is the next step above AB’s. From IAF web page “Accreditation bodies, which have been evaluated by peers as competent, sign arrangements that enhance the acceptance of products and services across national borders, thereby creating a framework to support international trade through the removal of technical barriers. These arrangements are managed by the International Accreditation Forum( IAF) in the fields of management systems, products, services, personnel and other similar programs of conformity assessment.”
ISO Auditing Practices Group
The ISO 9001 Auditing Practices Group (APG) is an informal group of quality management system (QMS) experts, auditors and practitioners, drawn from the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the ISO Technical Committee 176 Quality Management and Quality Assurance (ISO/TC 176). The APG has prepared a number of papers and presentations on auditing QMS’s which are freely available and can be downloaded from: http://isotc.iso.org/livelink/livelink/fetch/2000/2122/13Whois8402/138403/3541460/customview.html