Saturday mornings used to be full of rattlesnakes, quicksand, varmints, and grubby cowboys biting down on gold coins. The wild west was a hazardous place where few could be trusted, especially when it came to gold. But why the biting? Since pure gold is pretty soft, a genuine coin would give a little between the teeth, while a base metal fake would wreck your dentistry. Lead was more convincing: covered in gold veneer, it was of comparable weight and softness to the real McCoy, though a hard bite down would still reveal the dull grey lead beneath.
But the lesson is timeless: always check who you are dealing with, and what they promise. When it comes to certification to ISO 9001, we could all take a leaf out of the books of those bow-legged pioneers, because getting it wrong could cost you your business.
To safeguard your company’s health and, indeed, credibility, it’s vital always to ensure that your certification body is UKAS accredited. UKAS (or the United Kingdom Accreditation Service) is the UK’s sole accreditation service, and, as such, is recognised both by the UK Government, and by international accreditation bodies worldwide. UKAS has stringent standards: it painstakingly tests the competence and quality of Certification bodies, it makes sure that their auditors are impartial, and (crucially) forbids certification auditors from assessing their own work. To cut a long story short, a UKAS accredited certification body will assess you without bias, and will, therefore, make an assessment of your performance objectively, without business interest or prejudice. When you then get awarded with your certification, whether it be ISO 9001, 14001, 18001, or 45001, you can be assured that you have been assessed to an exacting and invariable standard, and that your certificate is worth its weight in gold (well actually, rather a lot more).
If you, on the other hand, take a chance on an unrecognised certification body as a route to certification, you may as well take a sharp stick to a pile of rattlesnakes. Independent auditors and certification bodies are not answerable to the exacting standards of UKAS. Because of that, neither are they formally recognised by UK government, nor by the counterpart accreditation bodies worldwide. As a result, the certification they offer may not be recognised by conscientious businesses here, or abroad. Your ability to tender for new business could be compromised. You may not actually have a valid certification. All of a sudden, that certificate that you hoped would open doors for you, starts to slam them shut.
Always choose a UKAS accredited Certification Body. Look for the UKAS tick.
And bite your coins, ‘cos there are cowboys in them hills.Tags: accreditation, auditing, certification, certification body, compliance, cowboys, credibility, ISO 9001, UKAS, UKAS accreditation, UKAS accredited