Development of international database CertSearch one step further

Check whether your supplier is certified? Know whether a certification body is accredited? Or whether an accreditation body is a member of IAF? You can do so via IAF’s CertSearch database. The database gives substance to the motto: ‘Once accredited, accepted everywhere’.

CertSearch Database
On 26 October 2023, the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) took an important step in adopting the new policy for the IAF database CertSearch. The document, IAF MD 28 ”IAF Mandatory Document for the Upload and Maintenance of Data on IAF Database” was published.

CertSearch provides the ability to check management system certificates through a customer-friendly, global database. For example, certificates based on ISO 9001 for quality management or ISO 27001 for information security management. Companies thereby have visibility of valid certificates within their global supply chain.

Mandatory Document
IAF has different types of publications. A so-called mandatory document has been published for uploading and management of data within the IAF database CertSearch. This is a mandatory document. Accreditation bodies and certification bodies must implement this document.

Among other things, the document sets out the scope of the IAF database Certsearch. And it describes, for example, what information and when this information on issued accreditations and certificates must be uploaded to the database.

Implementation in more detail
Now that the MD28 has been published, the RvA can take the next step in implementation. The RvA, certification bodies and external scheme owners have until 26 October 2024 to implement the document. Until then, there is a transition period. You do not have to do anything at this stage. The RvA will start working on its own first. The first half of 2024 will also be used by the RvA to evaluate the added value of the Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) with IAF and the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with ILAC. Stakeholders and customers will be involved. Subsequently, the following stakeholders will be informed:

– the certification bodies accredited for management system certification, based on EN-ISO/IEC 17021-1;

– the external scheme owners managing a scheme listed on the BR010 list, based on EN-ISO/IEC 17021-1.

Do you have any questions about the implementation of the IAF MD 28 document as an accredited certification body or external scheme owner? If so, please contact your regular contact person within the RvA. The questions that come in will be collected and used in the implementation of the document. Until the working method from the RvA is more detailed, participation in and scope of the IAF database Certsearch is unchanged from the existing working method.

Over the next year, the RvA will organise online information sessions on the implementation of the IAF Database CertSearch and the RvA’s working method.

For questions on the technical implementation of the IAF Database CertSearch, where a certifying body or external scheme manager links to the IAF database, IAF has indicated its intention to organise monthly webinars. Every month, these webinars will be organised. When more is known about the scheduling of these webinars, relevant certifying bodies and scheme managers will be informed.