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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 9001:2000?

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?

  • AS 9100 is ISO plus specific aerospace requirements

  • TL 9000 is ISO plus specific telecommunication requirements

  • 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:

  • ISO 13485 - Medical device requirements 

  • HACCP (Hazardous Analysis & Critical Control Points) - standards imposed by the FDA
























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