ISO9001 and Non UKAS Certification Companies
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"The United Kingdom Accreditation Service is the sole
national accreditation body recognised by government to assess, against
internationally agreed standards, organisations that provide
certification, testing, inspection and calibration services.
Accreditation by UKAS demonstrates the competence, impartiality and
performance capability of these evaluators."
A certificate of conformance to ISO9001:2008 issued in the UK
by a UKAS Accredited Certification Body guarantees that the
organisation meets the requirements of the Standard. It will be
accepted by everyone as evidence of compliance. Unfortunately a
certificate issued by one of the non-UKAS companies does not.
A prime example of this can be shown where we were asked to
carry out a 2nd Party audit of a supplier for a Client of ours. We are
IRCA accredited to carry out these type of audits. The Supplier showed
us a certificate issued by one of the non-UKAS companies. We
undertook the audit but had to call a halt after finding that no
internal audits had been carried out in that year and Management
reviews did not cover the elements described in ISO9001. (Major non
conformities) It was clear that this company did not meet the
requirements of ISO9001:2008.
Interestingly enough the day after our 2nd Party audit, the
non-UKAS company carried out their annual surveillance visit
and declared that they were satisfied that this Supplier met all the
requirements of ISO 9001:2008. I think that says it
The real pity is that the Supplier believed that they did
comply with ISO9001:2008 and are now faced with conflicting
information. The only thing we can say is that if
another accredited auditor carried out a 2nd Party audit they would
come to exactly the same conclusion as we did, in that this Supplier is
UKAS regulations state that consultancy and certification must
be independent from each other. The non UKAS companies are
not governed or regulated, set up the system and then assess it; how
could they fail?
We firmly believe that it should be illegal to claim that an
organisation meets the requirements of this Standard or any other when
it does not; in the same way that it is illegal to claim that
a product does something that it clearly does not (Trade Descriptions
Look for the UKAS mark when selecting a certification body to
ensure that your certificate is valid and will be accepted worldwide.
About the Author
Chris Eden FIBC, MISSA, ACQI is a director of Quality Matters
Limited an established independent management consultancy based in
Essex, UK which specialises in ISO9001 Quality Management
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2011-01-13 17:48:53 in Business Articles