What is the Difference Between Registration,
Certification of Compliance, or Accreditation?
How do I choose? You must know what your customers and
your industry is requiring.
A business seeking
registration contracts with an International Registrar; an
independent third party. A registrar is a company that is accredited by
an International Accreditation Body: such as RAB, RVA, RVC, JAB. The registrar
will provide you international registration
status if you can demonstrate
to their auditor(s) you are in compliance to the international standard.
A company seeking
compliance certification contracts with a third party company which issues a certificate
of compliance. These third party companies are not affiliated with
International Bodies. In some industries, an audit demonstrating compliance by a
certified auditor is sufficient. The service provided by these certifying
companies is often less expensive than the services offered by the International
Registrars (however, beware if registration is what you are seeking).
A laboratory seeking
to show compliance with ISO/IEC 17025, will hire a third party to audit and
accredit them. While this standard encompasses many of the elements of ISO,
there is only accreditation offered at this time. (This standard is
fairly new and at this time there are only a few companies offering accreditation.)
What Is ISO 9000:1994 and ISO
ISO is a series
of International Standards designed to manage your Quality Management System.
The 1994 standard is comprised of 20 elements which encompass everything from
Management Responsibly of your quality system, to how you ship your product out
the door or deliver your service. As with any standard, revisions are expected.
ISO has a new revision; ISO 9001:2000. Companies already certified to the 1994
version have until December 2003 to upgrade their systems. The new revision for 2000 includes the same elements; arranged
with a different numbering system and order, plus a few more requirements.
Also, this standard is based on a process model and requires process auditing.
What are those other standards?
9100 is ISO plus specific
TL 9000 is ISO plus specific
QS 9000 is ISO plus specific automotive industry requirements
- soon to be TS/VDA requirements
ISO/IEC 17025 - includes some elements of ISO plus
calibration and laboratory requirements
These standards are generally audited in
conjunction with an ISO assessment: