There are several ISO management standards which can often be complicated to understand. However, the most commonly implemented standards include ISO 14001, ISO 9001, ISO 22301, ISO 45001 and ISO 20000. Also, there can be various ways in which an organization or individual can get certified/accredited/registered.
So what is the difference in these terms, if you wish to implement the standard in an organization?
Let’s find out.
As you know, the International Organization for Standardization publishes ISO standards. It is an international body that is founded by governments globally. The purpose of this body is to publish standards in order to deliver best practice and knowledge, thus, so far there are around 20,000 standards published in total.
Registration vs. Certification
When we say that an organization has implemented any standard, is done with the certification audit successfully and the certification is issued by the body, we normally call this certification or registration. The term ‘registration’ is normally recognized in North America, whereas globally, it is known as certification. So, when we think of the difference in these two terms, technically yes, there is a difference but essentially no, there isn’t any.
Certification means that the certification body has issued the certificate that signifies that the organization is compliant with a particular standard, whereas, registration means that the certificate is registered with some particular certification body. Thus, regardless of the term, the purpose comes down to the very same thing i.e. an organization receiving a formally recognized certificate.
Certification vs. Accreditation
So, what is accreditation? Well, for certification bodies to perform the standard certification audits and then issue a certificate, these bodies must get a license. This license is known as accreditation. This means that certification bodies get accredited while companies get certified.
For each country, there is usually just one accreditation body, for instance, UKAS is for the UK. However, there may be many certification bodies, operating in a single country. Also, they may range from small and local certification bodies to even large and multinational corporations like BSI, SGS, and DNV, etc.
It is worth noting that the one good thing about these accreditation bodies is that these bodies usually publish the accredited certification bodies list in their respective countries.
Thus, there are many startups and companies which have successfully acquired ISO online certificates which helps them boost sales and work with international clients globally.