ISO/IEC 17021 Conformity Assessment requirements for the operation of various types of bodies performing certification have been developed in order to build confidence in the certification bodies. Accreditation to certification bodies is a procedure by which an accreditation body gives formal recognition of technical competence for specific types of certifications such as ISO 9001 Quality Management System, ISO 14001 Environmental Management System, etc., based on third-party assessment as per ISO/IEC 17021 standard. This international standard is drafted in accordance with the rules given in the directives. ISO 17021 Accreditation is managed by accreditation bodies (authorized by ISO). On accreditation as per ISO 17021 standard, certifying body gets global acceptance due to such mutual accreditation.
The ISO/IEC 17021 Certificate is issued by accreditation body, which is authorized to provide accreditation under the ISO/IEC 17021. The ISO 17021 certificate is issued for the specific period after successful completion of registration (final) assessment. Surveillance audits are conducted by the accreditation body after one year.
ISO/IEC 17021 is an accreditation, which is granted to the certification bodies by approved accreditation body. It is an accreditation not certification like ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and other system certifications.
Punyam Management, an ISO 17021 consultancy in Ahmedabad, India, develops the system for its customers in the following manners:
1. Micro-level survey for each and every management system of the certification bodies and preparation of detail Gap Analysis report,
2. Preparation of applicable documents required by ISO/IEC 17021 based on detail study of all activities of the certifying bodies, such as;
3. Preparation of Quality Assurance Plan for maintaining and assuring quality of services provided to its customers,
4. ISO 17021 training to all levels of employees within the certification bodies,
5. Help in effective implementation of system by periodic visit till accreditation,
6. Conduct internal audit for ISO 17021 system to check readiness for the accreditation,
7. Conduct management review meeting in presence of Top Management to guide the certification bodies for effective implementation of all the issues related to inspection,
8. Development of policies, as required by the standard.