All Certifications (and Certificates) Are NOT Created Equal

Accredited Versus Unaccredited Certifications

When looking for a qualified ISO certification body to perform your management system certification assessments, make sure that you are comparing apples to apples – things are not always what they seem.

In the world of ISO certification, it’s buyer beware. 

Unfortunately, there are certification bodies that claim to be qualified and competent to perform management system certifications; they will even give you a certificate to demonstrate the conformance of your system.  The bottom line is — these assessments aren’t worth the paper that certifies them.  If you are a buyer, there are some things that you need to look for on a certificate.

Symbols Mean Something

An accredited certificate will have at least two symbols placed on it – an Accreditation Body Symbol (such as ANAB’s in the US;  see ) and a Certification Body Symbol (such as Platinum Registration’s).  Ideally, the certificate will also carry the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) Symbol.  You should be sure that the Accreditation Body is a member of the IAF; this can be easily checked on the IAF website  ( ).  Accredited Certification Bodies may be identified on the Accreditation Body’s website.

Accreditation means that the Certification Body is adhering to rules agreed by the International [ISO] Community.  It means that certifications will be acknowledged and transferable within that community.  Certification Bodies have a lot of rules to follow and are regularly assessed for conformance to those rules.   When shopping for a Certification Body, assuring that the quality of the assessment process is rock solid gives you peace of mind that you can rely on the results of the assessment.

Signed Certificates – What Do They Really Mean?

Not much.  A signature on a certificate does not mean that the certificate is authentic or valid.  You’ll note that there are no signatures on Platinum certificates.  There is no requirement to sign a certificate for that reason.  Do not be fooled by the appearance of an official looking piece of paper!

Validating a Management System Certificate

To make sure that a certificate is valid and that the organization is in good standing with the Certification Body, you can check it directly with the Certification Body.  That’s what we are here to do for you.  We like it when you check the validity of our certifications because it protects both you and us.

Better, Easier, Faster

Platinum is moving towards a system to make it easy to validate our certificates using our website; you’ll be able to quickly  check the site and get an immediate answer.  Of course, you can always  email or call us to validate a certificate issued by Platinum – we are always here to help and pride ourselves on personal service!

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