UpdateISO/IEC 17021 Conformity assessment. Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems – Part 1: Requirements is the international standard used by all IAF accredited certification bodies. It was first published in 2006, with a revision in 2011 and now in 2015 (June). All certification bodies (CB’s) have been given 2 years to achieve conformity to the revised standard.

Most of the changes (and in fact most of the standard itself) do not affect organisations in general, they mainly affect the way in which a CB operates.

We have listed below the 2 most significant changes that might affect organisations directly.

Certification marks/logos

In the old standard it stated that you could not make reference to management system certification on:

  • products and product packaging
  • any way that may imply product certification

In the new standard organisations that are certified may add a statement (but no mark) to the product packaging and an other literature (and must include the CB’s name) – but still not on the product itself. For more info on what you can and cannot say about your own management system please see ISO certified – why not shout about it!

Shift work

A new requirement has been added to the revised standard stating that CB’s must now consider the shift work (shift patterns) of the certified organisation. Where activities which take place on differing shifts, the CB must now consider this in their audit program as this may affect the audit and it’s duration

Further ISO standards have been added to the ISO/IEC 17021 “family” and include:

  • ISO/IEC TS 17021-2 for environmental management systems
  • ISO/IEC TS 17021-3 for quality management systems
  • ISO/IEC TS 17021-4 for event sustainability management systems
  • ISO/IEC TS 17021-5 for asset management systems
  • ISO/IEC TS 17021-6 for business continuity management systems
  • ISO/IEC TS 17021-7 for road traffic safety management systems