The Value of ISO Certification
It’s always recommended to verify a business’s ISO certification. In fact most reputable companies, such as IBS Electronics, have an ISO certification. ISO certification is a useful resource because it provides transparency to the customer (you), and reassurance that quality procedures are followed for the services, products, or electronic components you are purchasing.
What is ISO Certification?
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international body that creates quality standards for businesses and organizations. They introduce requirements and specifications for materials, procedures, formats, products, information, and management. The purpose of the ISO certification is to assure a potential buyer, or associate, that a company is adhering to quality standards and procedures.
ISO Certification Types
ISO 9000—The ISO 9000 Certification is probably ISO’s most widely known family of standards. ISO 9000 is a generic name given to a family of standards developed to provide a framework around which quality management system can effectively be implemented.
ISO 9001—ISO 9001:2008 is used if you are seeking to establish a quality management system that provides confidence in the conformance of your product to established or specified requirements.
ISO 13485—ISO 13485: 2003 is what is known as a “sector-specific” quality standard, similar to ISO/TC 16949: 2002 for the automotive industry or AS9100 for the aerospace industry.
ISO 14001—An Environmental Management System (EMS) is a systematic approach to dealing with the environmental aspects of an organization.
Steps to Verify a Company’s ISO Certification
Many businesses will display an ISO logo on their website, or otherwise indicate in writing that they are ISO certified. However, with modern technology, a logo can easily be copied and pasted onto a website. So, how can you really be sure that an ISO certification is authentic?
1. Ask the company manager for an ISO certificate.
Every ISO certified company has a certificate as proof, which should be furnished upon request by any potential customer. When you obtain a copy of the certificate, make sure it includes the name of the registrar and a stamp or seal of accreditation that proves the registrar is legitimate. Because ISO itself does not grant these certificates, the duties of certification are executed by a pre-approved, third party registrar.
2. Confirm the ISO certification with the registrar.
If you’re still not convinced that a certificate is authentic, you may reach out to the registrar directly and ask them about the company’s certification. Most registrars include a public list on their website for all of their ISO certified companies. Note that all registrars are not equal, so make sure the registrar shows a solid track record for integrity.
3. Ensure the company has ISO certification for all locations.
This is especially true for companies with international locations. Sometimes the ISO certification is for a specific location, factory, or warehouse but not the other locations. As such, the certification should specifically state which location(s) are ISO certified.
4. Check the expiration date.
A small but important detail that is often overlooked—the expiration date. Due to constantly evolving standards set by ISO and changing conditions of a business, a certification must be renewed every few years. When this happens, the company undergoes an audit and ISO determines whether there are any issues that require fixing. If a certificate is expired, it could mean that a company is currently undergoing an audit, forgot to update the certificate, or is no longer ISO certified.