As the certifying party has no financial interest in the product, isn’t subject to internal pressures, and must also be an expert in the field, their findings are much more balanced and credible, with zero bias.
Partnering with a business that has been accredited by a recognised third party body, shows that they have been assessed and audited against recognised standards and are competent to meet your needs. These standards usually relate to technical aspects of the business activities, but may also relate to other aspects of the business such as ethical and environmental qualities
Organisations have their processes, systems or products certified by an independent third party for a number of reasons but satisfying customer requirements is the most common. The use of these third party accreditations is an effective way to provide trust and confidence to their customers. It reinforces that your business has met specific standards and reduces risk – be it product failure, health and safety, compliance, or risk to company reputation. Accreditation reinforces a third-party assessment body’s ability by providing an external badge of its competence.
Third party certification can create value for your business. For some organisations specification certification is required by other parties within the supply chain or can influence their purchasing decisions.
This trust is supported by the transparent way in which a product’s/service’s conformity is assessed; there are clear requirements that a product/service has to fulfil in order to obtain the accreditation, which customers can inform themselves about.
This is all dependent upon the third party accreditation your business is seeking. Different sectors have different accreditations specific to that markets needs as well as accreditations that are internationally recognised that all business can apply for.
Third party accreditations have two main forms of investment, cost and time. Each accreditation will charge a fee for the initial audit and award together with an on-going annual fee and audits to keep the accreditation.
Time comes in the preparation, once you have decided on which accreditation you are aiming for there will be several steps towards your end goal. This may start with an initial audit to spot opportunities so that an action plan can be put together.
After the first audit you will be asked to develop a management system, which is purely a set of documents that outline your business processes and shows how you’ll meet the standard required for certification. Once you have submitted all the evidence required, you will receive another audit to ensure all actions have been met. If they have you will be award your certification, if not a further audit will be scheduled for a revised date.
Once you have received your certification, your business will have follow up audits to ensure that you are adhering to and improving on the actions set out in your agreed management system.