Accreditation is a process in which certification of competency, authority, or credibility is presented.

Organizations that issue credentials or certify third parties against standards are themselves formally accredited by accreditation bodies.

Hence they are sometimes known as “accredited certification bodies”. The accreditation process ensures that their certification practices are acceptable, typically meaning that they are competent to test and certify third parties, behave ethically and employ suitable quality assurance.

In everyday language the terms Accreditation and Certification are often used interchangeably. However, these terms have specific meanings.

ISO’s formal definition of accreditation is “third party attestation related to a conformity assessment body conveying formal demonstration of its competence to carry out specific conformity assessment tasks.” (ISO/ IEC 17000:2004)

Certification is “third party attestation related to products, processes, systems or persons.” (ISO/ IEC 17000:2004)

Accredited Organizations are known as Conformity Assessment Bodies (or CABs).

Accredited CABs provide certification and inspection services to organizations.

Most Commonly the certified management systems

Generic Management Systems which are applicable to all organizations irrespective of nature of activities and Services.

  1. Quality Management Systems (QMS – ISO 9001)
  2. Environmental Management Systems (EMS – ISO 14001)
  3. Occupational Heath and Safety Management System (OHS – 18001)
  4. Energy Management System (EnMS – ISO 50000)

Sector Specific Management Systems which are applicable to only those organizations with respective to nature of activities and Services.

  1. Food Safety Management System (FSMS – ISO 22000)
  2. Information Security Management System (ISMS – ISO 27001)
  3. Technical Specifications for Automobile Industries (TS/ISO – 16949)
  4. Medical Devices — Quality Management Systems(ISO – 13485)
  5. Learning Services for Non-formal Education and Training (ISO – 29990)