As ISO Consultants we recommend our clients use accredited certification bodies to help ensure that, after all the hard work, you and your customers, can rely on the integrity of the certificates issued.
Part of that trust is built in the knowledge that the certification body has been audited itself by its accreditation body (UKAS in the UK). A case of the “checkers-being-checked”.
However, this also means that UKAS can sanction the certification body and in some cases a Certification Body’s accreditation can be suspended or withdrawn, meaning they can no longer issue UKAS accredited certificates.
If this does happen, certified organisations can be left in a difficult position through no fault of their own!
If you find yourself in this position, Assent Risk Management can help, contact us.
Is My UKAS Accredited ISO Certificate Still Valid?
If the certification body has its accreditation withdrawn or voluntarily withdraws, they can no longer issue accredited certificates.
Existing ISO Certificates issued before withdrawal are VALID – unless they were issued incorrectly (see below).
However, if your certification body has their accreditation withdrawn, they can no longer provide audits, reports or certificates under UKAS, which means they will be unable to fulfill UAKS requirements at your next audit.
In this case, to maintain UKAS Accreditation you will need to move certification bodies (see below).
Withdrawal means that the certification body will need to reapply for UKAS accreditation, and this can take some time.
I Am Currently Going through Initial Certification, What do I do?
If you are currently going through your initial certification, which involves a stage 1 and stage 2 audit, STOP. Your certification body will not be able to issue a UKAS Accredited Certificate.
Even if you are between the Stage 1 and Stage 2 audits, you will be unable to complete the UKAS accredited process and you may not be able to recover the fees already paid to the certification body.
My Certification Body is Changing Accreditation Provider
Some Certification Bodies may apply to a different accreditation body, either in the UK or another country. However it should be noted that in the UK, only UKAS is recognised by the UK Government.
Internationally, accreditation bodies do vary, however the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), a worldwide association of accreditation bodies, works to “develop a single worldwide program of conformity assessment”, of which UKAS is a member.
So when choosing accreditation outside the UK, you should consider looking for an IAF member body.
- How do I Audit a Management System for my International Business?
- ISO Accreditation Bodies Around the World.
My ISO Certificate was Issued Incorrectly, What Do I Do?
If a certification body has issued your certificate incorrectly under the UKAS scheme, they will be obliged to inform you and withdraw the certificate.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t meet the requirements to be certified. It usually reflects an issue in the certification body’s processes or non-compliance with UKAS.
However it does mean that you will need to recertify with a fully accredited certification body and it is unlikely that you will be able to recover all the fees paid to the original provider.
Can I transfer my ISO Certificate to another Certification Body?
YES! You can transfer your ISO Certification to another body at any time providing you have a valid and current Certificate.
Remember certificates issued before the sanction was applied by UKAS are valid, unless they have been issued wrongly.
The transfer process usually involves an additional audit by the new certification body, however they are obliged to honor the same audit programme, so the number of audit days for the same scope will not change.
Get ISO Certification Help
Assent Risk Management are experienced ISO Consultants who can help you achieve and maintain ISO Certification.
We often help clients recover from failed audits and deal with certification body issues.
Contact us to find out how we can help!
You can see all current sanctions (suspensions and withdrawals) issued by UKAS here: https://www.ukas.com/customer-area/sanctions/organisations-under-sanction/