ISO Organization Building Does ISO have any involvement with the conformity assessment for certification or accreditation business? As it reads in the ISO FAQ


A European based confederation with the sole role to publish technical and management specifications as well technical specification for voluntary adoption and to help as guidance.


It is not the role of ISO to verify that ISO publications are being implemented by users in conformity with the requirements of the publications. However, in partnership with IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), Europe ISO develops ISO/IEC guides and publication-standards to be used by organizations which carry out conformity assessment activities as volunteer schemes. The voluntary criteria contained in these publication-standards represent a European consensus for international application on what constitutes best practices. The use of the publications contributes to consistency and coherence of conformity. You can find more information about these activities in the conformity assessment pages of ISO Online's section on communities and markets.

The reason for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to exist is for the development and publication of technical specifications, which includes management systems. For more information on the ISO FAQ responses . We specifically cite - quote the International Organization for Standardization (ISO):

ISO does not carry out certification

ISO is responsible for developing, maintaining and publishing the ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 families of standards as well as hundreds of other European based model standards. ISO does not itself audit or assess the management systems of organizations to verify that they have been implemented in conformity with the requirements of their standards.

ISO does not issue ISO 9001 or ISO 14001 certificates.

The auditing and certification of management systems is carried out independently of ISO by more than 4,000 certification bodies active around the world. ISO has no authority to control their activities, as these operate within sovereign nations. The current ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and other certificates issued by third party certification bodies are issued under their own responsibility on a volunteer commercial agreement and not under ISO's name.

ISO itself does not carry out assessments or audits to check that its published standards are being implemented. Conformity assessment – as this process is known – is a matter between two parties as a volunteer commercial arrangement.

    Our comment to the above: It is not the intent of ISO to supplant the sovereignty of nations by substituting laws or regulation.

On matters of laboratories; many testing laboratories and certification bodies which offer independent (also known as "third party") conformity assessment services provide confirmation that products (including hardware, software, tests and processed materials), services or systems measure up to ISO standards. These are matters highly important within the Euro Zone.

Such organizations may perform these services under a mandate from a regulatory authority, or as a commercial activity under two party or more commercial agreements, the aim of which is to create confidence between suppliers and their clients.

In some countries, the national standards institutes that make up ISO's membership carry out conformity assessment, either with authority from their respective governments, or as a non-government organization (abusiness operation).

However, ISO's Committee on conformity assessment, ISO/CASCO, develops specifications and guidelines for publication covering various aspects for conformity based on European programs. The voluntary criteria contained in these publication - namely standards and adding guides represent an international consensus based on European good practices. Their use can contribute to the consistency of conformity assessment worldwide and may help in facilitating trade across borders as it does within the Euro Zone.



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02 July, 2020


Common questions we receive 
 regarding certification