ISO 9001 certification bodies

Have you created your quality management system and would now like to have it certified? At this point the search for a suitable ISO 9001 certification body begins. In principle, you have the right to have your QM manual certified by any certification body in the UK and abroad. However, there are a few important points to keep in mind to avoid a surprise later. Unfortunately, there are some market participants with an offer from a non-accredited certification body. As a layperson, it is difficult to understand what the quality “accredited” means. On this page we have tried to explain these aspects clearly and informatively.

Organizations are certified worldwide via certification bodies. These certifying organizations are monitored by a higher-level and independent accreditation body. This accreditation body (e.g. UKAS, UAF, IAF, RvA, DAkkS, TURKAK) grants the certification bodies permission to carry out certifications. The accreditation body (e.g. UKAS) therefore carries out an audit of the certification bodies every year to protect the standards. All documentation and processes are checked. This is intended to ensure that the auditors and administrative staff of the certification bodies carry out the certification process correctly. Administrative staff review the submitted documents as part of an audit and archive them in accordance with standards.

How to choose an ISO 9001 accredited certification body?

For companies that want to be certified according to ISO 9001, it is important to choose a certification body that is suitable for them. Depending on what goals you are pursuing with the certification, you have to be selective. Costs and sales priorities, in addition to regulatory requirements, also play a role. In the following video (approx. 9 minutes) we explain how to choose a certification authority and which situations require an alternative certification authority. This gives you an easier understanding of what is important for your company when it comes to certification. Not every certification body with strong domestic brand recognition has a positive marketing impact in certain foreign target markets.

Which ISO 9001 certification bodies are there?

The following certification bodies can certify companies nationally or internationally according to ISO 9001:
  • BSI
  • IFC Global
  • SGS
  • as well as others
Our ISO 9001 experts audit according to ISO 9001:2015 for several certification bodies (TÜV Nord, TÜV Süd).

What is the difference between accredited and certified?

The accreditation process confirms by an independent third party that the functions of systems or processes are reliably fulfilled. The accreditation body checks whether the specific specialist knowledge of the staff, the processes and the previous implementation of procedures meet the requirements of the accreditation. The certification exclusively checks the conformity of an organization and its management system to standards. Unlike certification, accreditation can also be understood as a competency assessment.

What is the difference between an accredited and non-accredited certification body?

If the certificate does not contain the logo of an internationally recognized accreditation body (e.g. UAF, UKAS), the document is often not recognized by contractual partners. For example, if a framework agreement contains the requirement for ISO 9001 certification, major customers expect certification from a body accredited for this standard (e.g. TÜV Nord).

In the UK, the semi-governmental UKAS acts as an accreditation body for all management systems in accordance with ISO standards. The International Accreditation Board B appoints at least one accreditation body per country. In the USA there are several approved accreditation bodies, some of which also include industry specializations. Companies accredited by accreditation bodies audit in accordance with ISO 19011 – the standard for audit management systems.