ISO 17021

ISO 17021 is a series of standards that set out requirements for organizations who provides certificates of conformity to all types of management systems. These organizations are commonly referenced to as certification bodies (CBs) or registrars.

In particular, ISO/IEC 17021-1, Conformity assessment — Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems — Part 1: Requirements, sets out the general requirements and principles to be followed by third-party certification bodies.

ISO 17021 is used by accreditation bodies (ABs) to assess the processes that certification bodies (CBs) have in place to ensure that they are impartial and the results of their assessments are consistent.

One of the key requirements of ISO 17021 is having processes in place to ensure that the CB personnel involved in the certification process are competent. These competence requirements are set out in discipline-specific annexes, including:

  • ISO/IEC 17021-2 for environmental management systems
  • ISO/IEC 17021-3 for quality management systems
  • ISO/IEC 17021-4 for event sustainability management systems
  • ISO/IEC 17021-5 for asset management systems
  • ISO/IEC 17021-6 for business continuity management systems
  • ISO/IEC 17021-7 for road traffic safety management systems.

For more information about the ISO/IEC 17021 series of standards, click here.

Last updated 9/15/2016

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Certification Requirements

Many organizations seek third-party certification of their management systems. The standard that forms the basis for "ISO certification" is ISO/IEC 17021.

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