Publicize Certification

You are proud of achieving your management system certification and want to communicate your success to the marketplace. And, publicizing your certification may attract additional business.

However, be careful how you promote your certification to avoid the pitfalls of false, misleading, or confusing statements. You may end up harming the credibility of your organization.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has issued guidelines on how to correctly publicize your certification. You should follow these guidelines with the same rigor you demonstrated in implementing your management system.

  • You are not allowed to use, adapt, or modify the ISO logo.
  • To use a logo, ask your certification body for permission to use its logo.
  • If you are certified to a standard, use the full designation, e.g., “ISO 9001:2008″, not just “ISO 9001″.
  • Use specific terms, e.g., “ISO 9001:2008 certification”, not the generic term, “ISO 9000 certification”.
  • You can say “certified” or “registered”, “certification” or “registration”. But, do not say “accredited”.
  • Do not use “ISO certified” or “ISO certification”. For example, say “ISO 9001:2008 certified” or “ISO 9001:2008 certification”.
  • Do not display any certification marks of conformity on products, product labels, or product packaging that could be interpreted as denoting product conformity.
  • Do not give the impression that management system certification is a product certification or product guarantee.
  • You can say “the management system governing the manufacture of this product (or the provision of this service) is ISO 9001:2008 certified”. You can also refer to “ISO 9001:2008-certified processes”.
  • Be accurate and precise in press releases, brochures, and web sites about the scope of your certification in terms of the activities and geographic locations covered by the certification.

If only part of your organization’s processes are covered by a certification, or only some of its business units or sites, it is unacceptable to mislead people by giving the impression that the whole organization has been certified for all its activities and processes, or for all its locations.

To view the ISO article on Publicizing Your Certification, go to this web page at the ISO web site.