ISO 9001 certificate brings many benefits, such as improved efficiency, acquisition of new customers, improved customer satisfaction rates, better brand credibility, more significant business opportunities and more profits, only if the certificate remains valid. Read the following article to understand the validity cycle of an ISO 9001 certificate and how you can check the validity of your ISO 9001 certificate.
What is ISO 9001?
ISO 9001 is a quality management standard that guides organisations to build an effective Quality Management System (QMS). Essentially, a QMS puts safeguards across different operations so that the consistency of product/service quality is always maintained. Additionally, QMS puts specific processes in place to identify, categorise and address various customer requirements. As a result, customer satisfaction rates increase, and brand credibility gets enhanced.
Does an ISO 9001 certificate expire?
It is essential to understand the certification life-cycle to understand the validity and expiry of an ISO 9001 certificate. To acquire the certificate, organisations need to undergo a certification audit by an external body, known as a certification body. This accredited body inspects every aspect of the QMS to ensure it is compliant, efficient, sustainable and self-improving. If no significant non-conformances are found, the organisation is granted a certificate valid for three years.
During these three years, organisations must conduct annual surveillance audits to maintain the validity of their certificate. These audits are similar to certification audits but less intense. If the organisation fails to conduct these audits, its certification expires. Similarly, if the organisation does not undergo a recertification audit at the end of the three-year cycle, its ISO 9001 certificate naturally expires.
In some instances, the ISO 9001 certificate can be cancelled due to changes in the business structure or due to a significant breakdown in the management system’s effectiveness.
How to check ISO 9001 certification validity?
Although, when an organisation undergoes a certification audit, they are granted a copy of the ISO certificate and are shown how to check its validity by the regional online registrar.
However, sometimes when an organisation is evaluating potential suppliers, a big part of the evaluation criteria is to check the validity of the ISO certificate. In such cases, you can simply request your potential supplier to provide you with a copy of their ISO certificate. In an ideal situation, your potential supplier should be able to send a copy of the ISO certificate quickly and easily via email, as the majority of the certification bodies also provide a soft copy or a PDF version of the certificate nowadays.
However, you must keep in mind that to maintain the certificate’s validity, your potential supplier must conduct regular surveillance audits. Hence, the certification body may have cancelled its ISO certificate if the potential supplier has not performed a surveillance audit within the past 12 months. You may have received a previous, now obsolete version.
There are a few ways through which you can check the validity of an ISO 9001 certificate.
1. If your certificate has been issued after 2020, you can go to the international online registrar created by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF). All you need to know is the name of the business. Go to the IAF website and start typing the business’s name in the search bar next to IAF certsearch. If the business has a valid ISO certification, it will immediately pop up. You can click on the listing to validate the current status of the ISO certificate. This is, in fact, the simplest and the easiest way to check the validity of any ISO certificate.
2. Although the cert search by IAF is a great way to check the validity of any certificate, you are provided with a limited number of searches. The number of searches is limited per day, and you need a membership. Instead, you must sign up for their account to access the database. Another issue is the limited number of daily searches plagues registered users. Hence, the next best option is to verify ISO certification via the local accreditation authority website. Suppose you are an organisation in Australia or New Zealand. In that case, the local authority, namely the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ), will help check the validity of your ISO 9001 certificate. Simply go on the JAS-ANZ certified organisations, search on the website, and type in the name of the organisation and its country of origin. The status of the certification will immediately show.
3. A third option is to check your certificate’s validity on the accredited certification body’s website. However, to do so, you must first ensure that the accredited certification body has the logo of the local accreditation authority. For example, in Australia and New Zealand, the website should have the logo of JAS-ANZ.
To check the validity of your ISO 9001 certificate, you can either go on the international online registrar by IAF, utilise the certification body online registrar or use the regional online registrar.
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