28th February 2019

Recognition and Certification

All our ISO Management Systems are designed for UKAS certification

However, it's important to understand your options and choose the one that is right for you.

Making claims about your management system

All our ISO systems are designed to achieve UKAS certification, which is the gold standard, but there are other options:

  • UKAS – Certification granted by a UKAS accredited certification body. Recognised gold standard which we encourage all our clients to aspire to.
  • Independent Certification - Certification granted by a non-UKAS accredited certification body.
  • Self Declaration – You or an associated interested party issues a statement that you are complying with the requirements of the chosen ISO standard.

UKAS Accredited Certification

Accepted by All

UKAS is the UK’s National Accreditation Body responsible for determining the competency and integrity of organisations offering certification services (certifying bodies). UKAS certification can only be provided by a certifying body who have been accredited by UKAS. These certification bodies are audited and monitored by UKAS on a regular basis to ensure their systems and auditors meet the expected standards, so you know all are operating to the same minimum standards. They must maintain independence so are not allowed to provide consulting or implementation services for clients which they certify.

Third Party

Third Party Confirmation

Limited Acceptance

Independent certification bodies provide third party confirmation but are not checked by any other organisation, so the standard of checking varies. They will often offer implementation and ‘certification’ packages, and recognition by one of these third parties  is usually cheaper than a UKAS certification body. You may also be locked into a long term contract (i.e. 10 years). Many organisations will not accept third party confirmation as evidence of certification to ISO standards due to the inconsistency between independent certification bodies.

Self Declaration

Rarely Accepted

This is the simplest form of compliance but the least recognised because of the lack of third party verification. If you do want to make a self declaration you, or an associated interested party, simply issue a statement that you are complying with the requirements of the chosen ISO standard. This may be OK if you are a B2C company or if you are in an industry which places more value on other standards and certifications.


Who asks for UKAS Certification?

Examples of organisations which usually require UKAS certification include:

  • Major development contractors (construction)
  • Government
  • NHS
  • Automotive
  • Aerospace
  • Food processing
  • Supermarkets
  • Major high street retailers

This is not always the case, so you should check what your clients expectations are.

What does ISO say?

The following is an extract if from ISO 14001:2015, page viii:

“This International Standard contains the requirements used to assess conformity. An organization that wishes to demonstrate conformity with this International Standard can do so by:

  • making a self-determination and self-declaration, or
  • seeking confirmation of its conformance by parties having an interest in the organization, such as customers, or
  • seeking confirmation of its self-declaration by a party external to the organization, or
  • seeking certification/registration of its environmental management system by an external organization.”