GENEVA, SWITZERLAND -- The International Standards Organization has released two new standards to provide harmonized, effective best practices for certification bodies and auditors around the world.
ISO/IEC 17065:2012, Conformity Assessment – Requirements for Bodies Certifying Products, Processes and Services: Companies can use product certification to show that a product, service or process has been inspected, tested and approved. ISO/IEC 17065 ensures that certification is carried out in a fair and capable manner Originally known as ISO/IEC Guide 65:1996, the document is extensively used by certification bodies to demonstrate that they are competent, impartial and reliable. This new version has been fully revised with more and better terms and definitions, resources, and guidance. Important requirements, like impartiality, have been strengthened, and some new specifications have been added.
Certification bodies accredited to the old ISO/IEC Guide 65 will have 3 years to comply with the new ISO/IEC 17065.
ISO/IEC TS 17021-2:2012, Conformity Assessment – Requirements for Bodies Providing Audit and Certification of Management Systems – Part 2: Competence requirements for auditing and certification of environmental management systems: ISO/IEC TS 17021-2 outlines the knowledge and skills that personnel involved in environmental management systems certification should possess. It was developed to complement the generic guidance included in ISO/IEC 17021:2011.
Randy Dougherty, Co-convenor of the ISO/CASCO working group that developed the TS says, “Auditing and certifying an environmental management system requires different knowledge from other management systems. For example, you need to be familiar with environmental terminology, metrics and monitoring techniques. ISO/IEC TS 17021-2 identifies the specific knowledge needed to audit and certify an environmental management system.
“It is the first in a planned series of technical specifications for particular management systems. Its use will reassure organizations, regulators, customers and the public that a certified EMS truly achieves its objectives.”