If you are making an enquiry about the following, please read the associated notes as it will point you in the direction to find the information you seek and may save you submitting an enquiry to IAF.
Answers to other common questions about the IAF, the validity of certificates and accreditation in general may be found in the IAF FAQ.
Confirming the validity of an accredited certificate
Certification is offered by clients (Certification Bodies) of our IAF Accreditation Body Members and therefore we cannot provide you with a specific confirmation of validity. It is recommended that you contact the Certification Body that issued the certificate and request confirmation of the certificate from them. Certification Bodies are required to maintain and make specific information on their certified client available to the public and can confirm its validity. If you have concerns about the recognition of the Certification Body by an Accreditation Body, the Accreditation Body will be able to assist you with the status and scope of the organisation. Accreditation Bodies that are members of IAF can be found here.
How to find a list of Certification Bodies
Accreditation Bodies in many economies publish hard copy or online lists or directories of the Certification Bodies that they have accredited, together with their contact details and information on their scope. Visit an Accreditation Body website to find out further information, by clicking on your economy under the list of Signatories.
At the present time IAF does not have the resources to provide a list of accredited Certification Bodies. This would be an enormous task to maintain, which is why this data is kept by IAF's Member Accreditation Bodies.
To check an Accreditation Body’s IAF membership
All IAF Member Accreditation Bodies and their contact information are listed on our website.
How to become certified
We recommend that you contact a selection of Certification Bodies to obtain specific information and costs from which you then select your preferred Certification Body. We also recommend that in making such a choice that you select only Certification Bodies that are accredited by an IAF Accreditation Body. You can find a list of our recognised Accreditation Bodies here. Contact the Accreditation Body if you wish to ensure the Certification Body meets international standards. Each Accreditation Body will make available to you a directory of Certification Bodies that they have accredited and the scope of their services and industry expertise.
The certification process is developed by each Certification Body to meet its clients’ expectations and needs. Therefore you will find minor differences in the process, which basically involves the following stages: Application - Application review - Document submission and review - Audit visit(s) - Report preparation - Corrective actions (if necessary) - Review of corrective actions - Completion of report - Certification decision - Certification documentation.
How to become an IAF Member
There are three categories of membership in IAF.
Accreditation Body Membership is open to bodies that engage in accreditation of entities that perform certification of quality systems, products, services, personnel, environmental management systems as well as other programmes of conformity assessment, and are willing to allow their accreditation systems to be used by other IAF Members.
Association Membership is open to organisations or associations representing the interests within an economy, region or internationally, of a like group of entities that engage in, are subject to, make use of, accept or rely on, conformity assessment results from bodies accredited by Accreditation Body Members of IAF, and which support the purpose of IAF.
Regional Accreditation Group Membership is open to associations of Accreditation Bodies that cooperate within an identified geographic region to establish and maintain a multilateral recognition agreement based on a peer evaluation system, and represent the interests of accredited entities, industry, users and similar organisations that engage in, are subject to, make use of, accept or rely on conformity assessment results from bodies accredited by Accreditation Body Members of IAF.
For further details on membership classes, please see Section 3.01.01 of IAF PL2: Bylaws of the International Accreditation Forum, Inc.
Membership application forms for the three categories of membership can be found on the IAF website under Publications, Documents for General Information.
Please note that individual certification bodies, certified suppliers of products and services, consultants and consulting firms and auditors are not eligible for IAF membership.
How to complain about the services of a certified organisation
If you wish to make a complaint regarding the service of a certified company, your first step is to approach the company involved with your concerns. If they do not respond in a manner that is satisfactory, you should then direct the complaint to the Certification Body that issued the certificate. Both the certified company and the Certification Body are required to have complaint systems in place to handle such situations. Finally, if neither of these actions resolves the situation, you can send your evidence of approaching both these organisations to the Accreditation Body that accredited the Certification Body. It is possible to file a complaint with IAF if this course of action does not provide you a resolution.
How to complain about an Accreditation Body
If you wish to make a complaint regarding the service of an Accreditation Body, your first step is to approach the Accreditation Body with your concerns. The Accreditation Body is required to have complaint systems in place to handle such situations. If this course of action does not provide you with a resolution, it is possible to file the complaint with the Regional Accreditation Group that the AB is a member of. Evidence of having first approached the Accreditation Body must be provided. If the review of the Regional Accreditation Group does not resolve your issue, it is then possible to file a complaint with IAF. Evidence of having approached both the Accreditation Body and the Regional Accreditation Group must be provided.
If the answer to your question does not appear in the preceding notes or the FAQ, please email using the following form:
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