If you are an organisation looking to certify your product to comply with an Australian Standard or you would like to obtain certification for a specific management system standard such as ISO 9001 (Quality Management) or ISO 14001 (Environmental) where do you begin?
The first step is to identify the actual Standard of certification you need. If you are unsure or need assistance, consider engaging a Consultant who has specific knowledge of the Standard and certification process concerned.
Depending on the nature and complexity of the Standard and your organisation, it may take many months of preparation to create, implement and check the requirements of the Standard. When the organisation is almost ready, you need to find an appropriate Certification Body to conduct the certification audit.
When searching, you need to find a Certification Body that has your selected Standard/s within their scope of accreditation. Did you know that there are currently 131 certification bodies in Australia and New Zealand that you can select from? Selecting the right Certification Body may seem like a daunting task so it is a good idea to make yourself familiar with the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ).
JAS-ANZ Register of Certification Bodies
JAS-ANZ provides internationally recognised accreditation services and oversight over their accredited certification bodies. To date over 70,000 organisations have now been certified by JAS-ANZ accredited certifiers. Globally, certification is becoming increasingly more popular and an integral part of the economy. According to the JAS-ANZ website:
Standards help facilitate international and domestic trade by providing a common platform for exchange of goods and services
A full list of all JAS-ANZ accredited Certification Bodies are located on their register. You can search within the directory by Standard of Certification, which will you give you details of the relevant Certification Bodies who are accredited to certify to the Standard you are seeking and their contact details.
Selecting the Right Certification Body
A study was conducted by Monash University in 2018 into the customer satisfaction of Australian and New Zealand based business who had undergone certification. The study reported that certified organisations would suggest selecting a certification body using the following criteria:
- Reputation and former clients
- Expertise and experience in the specific industry
- Good quality management systems and appropriately Qualified External Auditors
When contacting and interviewing perspective Certification Bodies, ask them how they can best serve your organisation? Are they willing to provide a collaborative and flexible approach to your organisations requirements? Are they competitively priced and is there certainty in their costings?
Ensure you do thorough research by reaching out to your network and attend industry conferences. Check websites, determine their service strengths, quality and professionalism of their auditors. Check the JAS-ANZ website as they sometimes run workshops and seminars to assist in the selection process.
Knowledge is power, so by educating yourself you will be able to identify an appropriate Certification Body to suit your needs. It is important to keep in mind that whoever you choose, you are not stuck with them! You can always change Certification Bodies down the track if they are no longer the right fit. The certification bodies have signed an agreement that allows you to transfer to another certification body as you wish.
For further information check out the JAS-ANZ website.