Accreditation is a formal, third party means of assessing the technical competence and integrity of a Certification Body.
The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), which publishes international Standards, such as ISO 9001, does not directly certify organisations or products. However, it does publish a Standard for the requirements of bodies providing Audit and Certification of Management Systems (ISO 17021) which is intended for use by Certification Bodies.
Certification Bodies (such as QMS) which intend to issue accredited certification must be audited and accredited by an Accreditation Body against the requirements of the ISO 17021 Standard.
Accreditation is not compulsory, and non-accreditation does not necessarily mean it is not reputable, but it does provide independent confirmation of competence.ISO.org
QMS operates two clearly divided departments as part of its operations: a consultancy department and an independent Certification and Auditing department. All relevant activities of QMS operate to the ISO 17021 : 2015 standard which is verified by Accreditation Services for Certification Bodies (ASCB) through whom QMS is accredited.
To verify the accreditation of QMS, please view our certificate of accreditation.
ASCB is a UK Accreditation Body which is respected for its integrity and impartiality throughout the World.
To date ASCB has accredited over 90 Certification Bodies and registered over 3500 Assessors, Auditors and quality related personnel achievements.
ASCB provides a high level of assurance to organisations that they are successfully assessed against the requirements of the Standards to which they are accredited.
ASCB is a member of the Global Accreditation Forum (GAF) which promotes the best practices in quality assurance, and operates with its own standards and procedures based on the needs of international accreditation. Any disputes between an accredited certification body and a registered organisation may always be referred to the GAF for review.
Focused on being technically outstanding while delivering a swift path through to compliance, ASCB work in accordance with the requirements of the ISO Standards, free of government and political interference.
Government have been supportive of ASCB in several other areas and have also invited them into working parties. They continue to be on the Government’s distribution list for accreditation matters and are therefore acknowledged by Government in what they do.
UKAS stands for the United Kingdom Accreditation Service. UKAS has been appointed as the National Accreditation Body for the UK. This means they perform accreditation with authority derived from the State and represent the UK in the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).
QMS are not accredited by UKAS but instead achieve their accreditation through ASCB. QMS is accredited and audited to ISO 17021 : 2015 by ASCB – a most respected, UK based, accreditation organisation.
The ISO 17021 Standard that QMS is accredited to is the same ISO 17021 Standard to which UKAS accredits its Certification Bodies.
The key difference is that ASCB is not a member of the IAF. Only one accreditation body per EU country may be a member of the IAF, responsible for representing the UK in international discussions concerning accreditation and certification.This enables UKAS and other parties to promote UKAS as “the sole national accreditation body” and “the only government approved accreditation body”. While both these statements are true, they are commonly used to imply that there cannot be any other Accrediting Bodies – which is simply not true. For example: the Government has itself appointed non-UKAS bodies to accredit its Cyber Essentials certification scheme.
Commonalities between ASCB and UKAS: