The simple answer to this question is no you do not need UKAS accreditation. Now that could be the end of this article but I’m sure you would like to know how I came to that conclusion.
In layman’s terms, there are UKAS and Non-UKAS accreditation bodies.
Either will issue you with a shiny new certificate at the end of the assessment process but there will be fundamental differences. Ultimately it comes down to what you want from this process and what is important to you. Even their fees will play a part in making your decision because they can differ widely.
Here are the facts
Now I don’t proclaim that I know the ins and out of all non-UKAS accreditation bodies but a couple spring to mind. I do know the ins and out of UKAS accreditation bodies, so overall for the purpose of this article I do think I am equipped to share what knowledge I know.
non-UKAS -vs- UKAS
Why choose a non-UKAS accreditation body
- Quick turnaround. You can typically get your ISO 9001 certification within a month of starting the process
- Their fees are cheaoer than a UKAS accreditation body, considerably cheaper in many cases
- Follow the same ISO 9001 standard
- Not recognised within some supply chains
- Some stakeholders may perceive non-UKAS as less credible or rigerous, which could impact your business reputation
- Contracts can range from 3 to 10 years, so once you are in, you have a while to wait to exit
Why choose a UKAS accreditation body
- The process is typically longer and extremely thorough to gain your certification
- In comparison the fees are higher, but this is backed by highly trained auditors with industry knowledge in your field
- Follows the same ISO 9001 standard
- Visits must be carried out annually, you will lose your certification if this does not take place
- Appointed by a Government approved representative
- Internationally recognised in all supply chains
- You are not tied into lengthy contracts. Exit anytime.
The list goes on but I’m sure you get the picture.
Do I have my preference, well of course I do and there are lots of reasons why, but I want to keep this article to be as factual as I possibly can.
There’s a lot to consider when choosing the right certification body and this is something you should take your time to consider before you make decision. Think about the needs of your business, including your budget, recognisition status and specific industry status.
Need some partial advice?
If you’re in need of assistance with any aspect of an ISO certification, here at Synergos we’d be delighted to discuss this with you. Whether you have questions about the path to certification, whether to use UKAS or non-UKAS or are looking for advice and support to maintain an existing ISO standard, then please call us 01484 666160 or email email@example.com and we’ll be happy to talk it over with you.