ISO 9000 certification bodies and the accreditation bodies that approve them as competent need to do a better job of policing their community to weed out malpractice and dishonest operators, ISO Secretary-General, Dr. Lawrence D. Eicher, has declared.
He was speaking at the opening of the 17th meeting of ISO/CASCO, Committee on conformity assessment, held in Geneva on 29-30 November 2001.
The ISO Secretary-General said that the conformity assessment community was facing a serious challenge caused by a certain number of certification bodies which acted without integrity.
Although ISO itself does not audit companies and does not issue ISO 9000 certificates nor control the certification bodies that do so independently of ISO, these bodies base their business on ISO standards and guides.
‘Therefore, when certification bodies act without integrity, many people believe that it is ISO’s fault,’ Dr. Eicher said.
‘We regularly receive complaints about certificates being awarded undeservedly to companies who have not been properly audited, or about certification bodies who offer to write the quality manual for the company and then sell them a certificate, or about others who claim to have been approved by ISO. No one at ISO has ever approved such certification bodies.’
Dr. Eicher said that ISO was concerned about such practices and that all conformity assessment professionals needed to be concerned too if they wanted to avoid being seen as ‘charlatans’, concluding: ‘You need to police yourselves.’