What is the difference between ISO Certification, Registration and Accreditation?

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Am I applying for “Certification”, “Registration” or “Accreditation”?

This is a surprisingly common question when implementing a standard into an organisation.

The most likely answer is, you’re applying for certification.

Here’s the reasoning:

Certification and Registration terms are closely linked but do not mean the same thing.

  1. Certification: This term refers to the issuing of written assurance (the certificate) by a 3rdparty or an independent external body that has audited your QMS and verified that it conforms to the requirements specified in ISO.
  2. Registration: This term means that the auditing body then records your certification in its client register.

Accreditation is like certification for the independent certification body. It is the formal recognition given by an accreditation body to demonstrate that a certification body is competent to carry out ISO certification.

Hope that clears things up!

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