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What is certification?

20 Apr 2021

Certification is a “third-party attestation related to products, processes, systems or persons,” as defined by ISO/IEC 17000 Conformity Assessment—Vocabulary and General Principles.


Certification is most often associated with ISO 9001 and the environmental management systems standard ISO 14001. However, certification programs exist for a range of management systems standards, including the ISO/IEC 27001 program for information security management, the ISO 22000 program for food safety management, the ISO 50001 program for energy management, and the ISO 45001 program for occupational health and safety management.


Organizations may also be certified for private sector schemes, such as FAMI-QS, FSSC 22000, IPC Management System Auditors, ICAO CORSIA or GLOBALG.A.P. IFA.


Product certification is the process of verifying that a product, including services and processes, meet requirements specified in contracts, regulations, or specifications.


Personnel certification is the process of confirming that an individual has the necessary experience, knowledge, skills or other attributes to fulfil requirements.


In most countries, accreditation is voluntary, however, many certification bodies choose to seek accreditation in order to demonstrate third-party confirmation of their competence.