The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) has announced that it is conducting research to evaluate market support for a fully populated management systems certificate database. Before IAF members vote on whether or not to mandate that accredited conformity assessment bodies upload their management system certifications into IAF’s certification database, IAF CertSearch, IAF is seeking wider feedback from industry to understand the level of demand from businesses and regulators.
Although 1,193 accredited conformity assessment bodies (CABs, sometimes called registrars) have activated and uploaded nearly 575,000 accredited certificates to the IAF global database, this only represents approximately 36 percent of accredited management system certificates globally (compared to ISO survey data). The reason for this is because participating in and uploading to the database has been voluntary for CABs.
A number of businesses and regulators spanning many industries and countries have requested IAF to mandate the database. These users have stated that for the global database to be useful it must include all valid accredited management system certifications. If it includes all valid certificates it will serve as a reliable tool to support businesses and regulators to verify certificates across the globe, thus reducing fraud, supporting global trade, and improving supply chain compliance. A fully populated database would also allow businesses and regulators to monitor all certifications held by suppliers across their entire global supply chains and be alerted in real time if there is a change to the certificate status, something which can’t be done today.
The database has demonstrated significant value to date, supporting thousands of businesses and regulators to verify authentic accredited certifications and supporting them to identify counterfeit and fraudulent certifications, too. IAF CertSearch continues to support users from around the world, particularly regulators during the pandemic and large corporations with their sustainability initiatives. However, with a fully populated database the value delivered to businesses and regulators would be exponentially greater.
If you would like to have access to a reliable, global, centralized certificate database, now is a critical time to express your thoughts.
Should IAF make it mandatory for CABs to upload certificates to IAF’s global database so it can serve as a reliable place for the world to verify valid certificates? Please respond to IAF’s poll or survey, or write a letter of support:
The IAF will collate and share the results.