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ISO 9001 Certification

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ISO 9000 certified or ISO 9001 certified? What's the difference? What is Iso Certified in General?

  • ISO 9000 Certified is technically incorrect as ISO 9000 does not have requirements. The term "ISO 9000" refers to the ISO 9000 standards family, not a specific standard that a business can be certified under.
  • ISO 9001 Certified means an organization has met the requirements in ISO 9001 — which defines an ISO 9000 Quality Management System (QMS).

ISO 9001:2008 certification requires an understanding of the ISO 9000 standards as well as some basics on quality management systems. Here is the information you need for ISO 9001:

Understanding ISO 9001 Training will teach you how to implement ISO9001

ISO 9001 Presentation Materials review the complete standard with your organization.

ISO 9001 Certification, ISO 9001 Registration and Accreditation - What Each Term Means

ISO 9001 Certification refers to a written assurance (the certificate) by an independent external body (Certification Body=CB=Registrar) that it has audited your quality management system and verified that it meets the ISO 9001 requirements.

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Basics of ISO 9001

Basics of ISO 9001

ISO 9001 Registration means that the auditing body recorded the certification in its client register. Learn about selecting an ISO registrar

So, the organization's management system has been both certified and registered.

Therefore, in the context of ISO 9001 both are acceptable and used interchangeably:

  • "ISO 9001 Certification" is the term most widely used worldwide
  • "ISO 9001 Registration" is often preferred in North America

On the contrary, "ISO 9001 Accreditation" is not an acceptable alternative for certification or registration, because it means something different. The term actually refers to the certifying body, or group that performs the certification process for the organization seeking to be ISO Certified. Although not explicitly stated in the standarards,* the certification body (registrar) should be IAF approved. ISO 9001 accreditation refers to the formal recognition by a specialized body - an accreditation body like the IAF — that a certification body is competent to carry out ISO 9001 certification. What is iso certified is the group seeking registration/certification, not the certifying body or registrar. So, basically accreditation is certification of the certification body. There is more information here on exactly who can grant certification to a certfiying body or registrar.

*It is true that registrars, who typically "certify" an organization to ISO's standards, do not specifically have to be accredited. In fact, there are no "ISO" registrars, just organizations that provide registration functions for ISO. What is ISO certified or is not ISO certified therefore relates to the standard, not the certifying organization. ISO itself admits that there are cases where an organization might enjoy such a good reputation due to its certification procedures and practices that it may not need to be accredited. However, by going through the accreditation process, a registering organization is demonstrating that its approaches can withstand the scrutiny of a third party. In effect, they are "practicing what they are preaching" since they themselves are providing a third party certification process to other entities.