What is Certification? A Beginner’s Guide.
The subject of certification and standards is a wide and complex one, but it is best to start at the beginning. A “standard,” by definition, is a set of guidelines in place to help organizations in the development, management, and control of everything from processes and products to services and systems. These guidelines satisfy specific requirements in areas such as quality, safety, and efficiency.
In order to certify an organization to a particular standard, accredited third-party certification bodies such as Perry Johnson Registrars, Inc. must verify that the requirements are met via an audit process. Only after the audit process is successfully completed can an organization be issued an official certificate, with the receiving company agreeing to maintain the systems in conformance with the standard’s requirements in continuous improvement.
Just like the companies they certify, third-party certification bodies (also referred to as “CBs”) must meet certain requirements in order to receive and maintain accreditation. This is ensured via audits overseen by an accreditation body, or AB. Oversight by an AB creates confidence that a CB’s certification process is impartial, and without conflicts of interest.
But why submit to the work and expense of the certification process? What is the benefit to a company or their clients? Accredited third-party certification demonstrates to both current and potential customers that an organization is dedicated to quality, and has taken the time to build and maintain a culture within its processes to offer clients the very same.
What Are Standards?
A standard, by definition, is a set of rules to help companies develop, control, and manage not only processes, but materials, products, services, technologies, and systems to a specific set of requirements. Some examples of accredited standards include ISO 9001, Responsible Recycling (R2), ISO 27001, and AS9100D.
What Is Certification?
In order to be recognized as meeting a standard’s requirements, companies must become certified. Certification can be attained through accredited third-party certification bodies (CBs) such as Perry Johnson Registrars, Inc., which will audit clients to ensure that the requirements of the standard in question are met. Only once conformance with the standard is verified will a certificate (certification) be issued.
Why Become Certified?
Certification through an accredited CB is similar in concept to receiving a degree from an accredited university; it signals to others (potential clients, buyers, suppliers, etc.) that a company has taken the extra steps to prove they meet the requirements of a standard and that they are committed to the integrity necessitated by certification.
Who Needs Certification?
Any business with defined processes and systems can benefit from the structure and added credibility of quality certification. For some industries, such as automotive or aerospace manufacture and supply, certification is all but mandatory to prove conformance to mandated rules and requirements.
How Does A Company Become Certified?
The first step in attaining certification through PJR is to contact us! Call (248) 358-3388 to speak with a project manager or click on the link below for a FREE quote.