International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies

News release – 2012 Number 21

IEC and ISO harmonize International Standards for audits and certification


Geneva, Switzerland, 2012-11-16 – The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), the world’s leading standards body in electrotechnology, and ISO (International Organization for Standardization) have released two standards that will harmonize standardization for certification bodies and auditors around the world.


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The updated standards will help create confidence among regulators, consumers, suppliers, and other stakeholders that certificates granted by one certification body are effectively the same as those offered by another. Audits and certifications are a major asset to international trade and essential to the long-term health of the world economy and these standards are designed to facilitate best practices for a wide variety of certification bodies and auditors.


ISO/IEC 17065, Conformity assessment – Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services, is designed to ensure that certification of a given product, service, or process has been carried out in a fair and capable manner, increasing confidence in the testing and inspection undergone by certified products, services, or processes.


This standard revises ISO/IEC Guide 65, General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems, which has been widely used by certification bodies to demonstrate that they are competent, impartial, and reliable; the new version includes improved terms, definitions, resources, and guidance, as well as new specifications. Certification bodies accredited under ISO/IEC Guide 65 have three years to comply with the new standard.


ISO/IEC TS (Technical Specification) 17021-2, Conformity assessment – Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems – Part 2: Competence requirements for auditing and certification of environmental management systems, is designed to ensure the competence of personnel involved in the growing field of EMS (environmental management systems) certification. The standard, which was developed to complement the generic guidance included in ISO/IEC 17021, Conformity assessment – Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems, outlines required knowledge and skills for environmental management auditors and certifiers, including environmental terminology, relevant metrics, and monitoring techniques.