Certification is defined by ISO as the ‘Procedure by which a third party gives written assurance that a product, process or service conforms to specific requirements’. A well-known standard for certification is ISO 9001 which addresses mainly management aspects; it does not necessarily include requirements of technical or analytical competence. In other words, the ISO 9001 approach to quality management allows laboratory personnel to say what they do (have quality procedures), do what they say (follow the procedures), record what they did (keep quality records), prove it (check the results) and improve it (act on the differences). Certification is no guarantee of good quality; it is a guarantee that the level of quality offered is consistent.

Certification bodies

Laboratories applying for certification will be audited by a certification body, a third party. This body is on its turn accredited by an accreditation body according to ISO 17021. Each country has multiple certification bodies. A few examples are Asociación Española de Normalización y Certificación (AENOR), Bureau Veritas, CERMET, IQNet Association and Technischer Überwachungsverein (TüV).

Certification standard

ISO 9001:2008 Quality management systems -- Requirements



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