When it comes to achieving quality management standardisation in the UK, organisations often need to consider UKAS Certification to ensure that certification providers are authentic.
The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) acts as the primary national certification body recognised by the UK government, and serves to assess certification organisations that may offer accreditation, testing, inspection and other services.
A certification organisation that is accredited by UKAS gets the seal of approval, which in turn ensures that your certification is authentic and valid. Simply put, UKAS certification shows your stakeholders that you have been reviewed by a quality management evaluator that is competent, fair and efficient.
Quality Management in the United Kingdom
Why is this important when it comes to quality management in the UK, and how can you go about ensuring that your auditors and other review bodies are legit?
Sadly, there is a growing trend for non-accredited organisations these days. These less than legit companies pop up all over the show, offering fast certification without strings and effort – often at very cheap rates. Some promise fast ISO standardisation at a fixed fee, while others offer to provide a certificate after only the most basic of assessments. While they may seem tempting (especially for companies who want to fast-track their quality plans), using such an evaluator can end up costing you far more in the long run… not least your reputation.
Some may look and seem so legit that you do not realise that you are being scammed until you need to prove the authenticity of your certificate. When this happens, you realise that you have been duped into paying for nothing, with nothing to show besides an invalid certificate that is not recognised by major bodies such as the ISO Standards Organization. In the UK, only UKAS accredited certification bodies are able to issue ISO 9001 certificates.
With this certificate, your organisation has a valid, authentic proof of your quality strategies and compliance. UKAS accredited certification bodies are regulated and inspected by the authority on a regular basis, and bare the logo that proves their validity.
Regulations set by UKAS state that consultancy and certification must be independent, to further ensure full impartiality. If you are in the process of seeking ISO certification and you are based in the UK, it is vital to ensure that the certification body you choose is UKAS accredited. Failure to do so can result in using an ungoverned, unregulated body that can tarnish your reputation and standing.
While it is not illegal for the ‘fakers’ to operate, we certainly believe it should be – at the very least, these companies are operating without integrity or trust. Hopefully, you will take the time to carefully choose your quality management assessment company, so that you can achieve ISO certification with full peace of mind.