Registration versus Certification

Several readers questioned my use of “certification” in an article last month about publicizing an ISO 9001:2000 certificate. They felt the term should have been “registration”. My article was based on an official ISO press release dated 12/15/03.

Please see:  http://www.iso.org/iso/en/commcentre/pressreleases/2003/Ref883.html

ISO Guide 2 says “certification” is the procedure by which a third party gives written assurance that a product, process, or service conforms to specific requirements.

Certifying bodies (called registrars in the USA) certify an organization as conforming to ISO 9001:2000 and issue a certificate. This certificate covering the scope of “registration” and the organization’s name is placed in a public registry. In the USA, “registration” is the preferred term for quality management systems to avoid any confusion with the certification of products.

Many of our subscribers are outside the USA, so I kept the terminology used in the ISO press release. Our two-day Implementing ISO 9001:2000 course states in part, “The logo cannot be cropped or edited and must not be used in relationship to your products (since it is a system registration, not a product certification)”.

I should have placed a note at the bottom of the article to clarify the terminology differences for my USA readers. Thanks for your feedback.