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The action or process of officially recognising someone as having a particular status or being qualified to perform a particular activity. In an ISO context, the terms “ISO accreditation” and “ISO certification” are frequently (but incorrectly) used interchangeably. Certification is the process by a third party organisation (the certification service provider) of auditing whether a management system complies with the requirements of an ISO standard, and issuing a certificate that assures compliance when it does. Such certification can relate to an entire organisation or to a particular component, process or other aspect of that organisation, as defined in the management system’s scope. ISO accreditation, by contrast, means that an organisation can, as such a third party, audit and assess other organisations in order to determine if they meet ISO standards – and issue certifications accordingly.


The Difference Between ISO Certification & Accreditation