The publication of this International Standard includes the text of ISO/IEC 17021:2006, including amendments to delete relevant references to ISO 19011, with new text adding specific requirements for third-party certification auditing and the management of competence of personnel involved in certification.
Specific market needs have already been identified, resulting from a lack of specific and recognized requirements for third-party auditors of management systems, such as quality management systems, environmental management systems or food safety management systems. The lack of requirements for auditor competence and the way in which these auditors are managed and deployed has been identified by key interested parties, including industry interested parties, as being a drawback.
This International Standard provides a set of requirements for management systems auditing at a generic level, aimed at providing a reliable determination of conformity to the applicable requirements for certification, conducted by a competent audit team, with adequate resources and following a consistent process, with the results reported in a consistent manner.
Conformity assessment — Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems
This International Standard ISO/IEC 17021:2011 contains principles and requirements for the competence, consistency and impartiality of the audit and certification of management systems of all types (e.g. quality management systems or environmental management systems) and for bodies providing these activities. Certification bodies operating to this International Standard need not offer all types of management system certification.
Certification of management systems (named in this International Standard “certification”) is a third-party conformity assessment activity (see ISO/IEC 17000:2004, 5.5). Bodies performing this activity are therefore third-party conformity assessment bodies (named in this International Standard “certification body/bodies”).
NOTE 1 Certification of a management system is sometimes also called “registration”, and certification bodies are
sometimes called “registrars”.
NOTE 2 A certification body can be non-governmental or governmental (with or without regulatory authority).
NOTE 3 This International Standard can be used as a criteria document for accreditation or peer assessment or other audit processes.
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