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FAQs / New to ISO?

  • Who or What is ISO?

    ISO is an organization of countries from around the world that create "standards" for the world to follow. These standards may be in the form of specifications for components or materials, such as nuts and bolts. They would have standards such as: threads per inch, thread depth, diameter, etc.  The nut and bolt must have the same standard for them to fit together.  ISO also creates "Management System Standards", such as for product Quality Management (ISO 9001), or for Environmental Management (ISO 14001), and many others. 

    The ISO member countries send Subject Matter Experts to be on committees that create these standards.  These management system standards are considered to be Best Management Practices from a global perspective.  These Standards are in the form of "requirements" that must be met by any company or organization that implements and follows these standards. When a company or organization implements the standard, they can have their system audited and certified by an Certifying Body (sometimes called a registrar). This certification is intended to provide assurance that the company has indeed implemented the standard of best management practices.

  • What are the differences between conformity assessment, accreditation, certification and registration in relation to ISO?

    Official definitions, according to ISO/IEC Guide 2 (General Terms and Their Definitions Concerning Standardization and Certification) are as follows:

    • Conformity Assessment: This term refers to the determination of whether a product, process or service conforms  to particular standards or specifications. Activities associated with conformity assessment may include testing,  certification, accreditation, quality assurance system registration and environmental management system  registration.
    • Accreditation: This term refers to a procedure by which an authoritative body gives formal recognition that a body  or person is competent to carry out specific tasks. Accreditation means that a body has been evaluated in  accordance with internationally recognized standards (ISO 17021) and has been found competent and therefore is  authorized to register companies which have successfully demonstrated compliance to ISO standards.  “Registrars” or “Certifying Bodies” are Accredited to conduct audits of companies and grant “certification.”
    • Certification: This term refers to a procedure by which a third party (registrars and Certifying Bodies (CB’s)) gives  written assurance that a product, process or service conforms to specified requirements.
    • Registration: This term refers to a procedure by which a body indicates relevant characteristics of a product,  product or services and then includes or registers the product, process or services in a publicly available list.

    Accredited organizations known as "registrars" will be engaged by a company as third-parties to provide the  certification that the company has implemented an ISO standard. "Registration" is generally used in the United  States for the procedure defined as "certification" above, while "certification" is the preferred term in Europe and  other parts of the world.

  • Who Governs the Certifying Bodies (registrars) ?

    In the USA, it is ANAB.........which stands for ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board. They are located in Milwaukee, WI.

    Per their website,  "ANAB assesses and accredits certification bodies that demonstrate competence to audit and certify organizations conforming to management system standards."

    You can search their directory for certification bodies (registrars) by standard, country, state, and name.    

     Visit their site at ANAB.org

  • March 1 2018 UPDATE on ISO 45001, the replacement for OHSAS 18001

    UPDATE on ISO 45001   (replaces OHSAS 18001:2007)

    The Final Draft of ISO 45001 was issued in November 2017.  The member voting on the Final Draft is complete and the ISO 45001 is expected to be issued in March 2018......any day now !!!

    It is likely that OHSAS 18001 will be withdrawn and organizations currently certified to OHSAS 18001 will have a three year period to migrate to ISO 45001.

    Training for the ISO FDIS 45001 is available now !!!

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