What is ISO 17021?.

ISO 17021 is a standard used by Accreditation Bodies for accrediting Certification Bodies who certify organisations against management system standards. The standard innovates in presenting principles of certification, then the performance-based requirements that flow from them. These principles cover impartiality, comp2etence, responsibility, openness, confidentiality and responsiveness to complaints. The standard underlines the need to ensure the competence of all the personnel of the Certification Body - not just auditors - in the management system certification process.

Requirements for impartiality include the following:

Demonstration by the top management of Certification Bodies of the need to avoid conflicts of interest between certification and consultancy, training and internal auditing services; the marketing of certification services, and the subcontracting of audits.

The Certification Body is required to set up a committee for safeguarding impartiality. The standard envisages that such a committee could include representatives of clients of the Certification Body, customers of these clients, trade associations, regulatory bodies, governmental and nongovernmental organisations, and consumer associations.

Additionally, the Certification Body is required to implement a management system to ensure its conformity to ISO17021.

Who We Are
What We Do
Accreditation Benefits
Accreditation Standard
Certification Standard
Topics A-Z