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As certification (of Latin certus ', certainly 'determined' safe 'and facere , make', 'create', 'manufacture') refers to a process by which compliance with certain requirements is proven.

Certification is a sub-process of conformity assessment . Certifications are often limited in time by independent certification bodies such as B. DQS , TÜV or DEKRA and the standards are independently or proprietary controlled.

Requirement areas

The areas in which requirements are set that can be certified generally include:

  • Products and services and their respective manufacturing processes, including trade relationships
  • people
  • Systems
  • Companies

Types of certification

  • Evidence of training standards or specially developed professional standards for personal certification . The standard for certification bodies that certify people is regulated in EN ISO / IEC 17024 (" Conformity assessment - General requirements for bodies that certify people"), which is also available as a DIN standard .
  • Evidence of training standards in the recognition of training institutes, as carried out, for example, by professional associations (in the case of non-university training, sometimes we speak of "certified" training institutes, sometimes of " accredited " training institutes, the latter being also authorized to carry out personal certification or parts thereof).
  • Internationally recognized proof of personal competence, for example as a PMP ( Project Management Professional ) from the PMI ( Project Management Institute ) and IPMA Level DA certificates for project managers.
  • Certification of a management system (for example according to ISO 9001 , ISO 14001 ). According to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), by the end of 2009 over 1 million certificates based on the ISO 9001 standard and around 223 149 certificates based on the ISO 14001 set of rules had been issued internationally in over 150 countries.
  • Certification of products or services. For certification bodies that operate certification systems for products or services, there is EN ISO / IEC 17065 (formerly EN 45011 or ISO / IEC Guide 65).
  • Certification of the region of origin of a product (DOC).
  • Certification of information security according to ISO / IEC 27001 .
  • Certification to prove compliance with environmental and social standards, for example in the certification of sustainably produced wood (see FSC ) or of products from developing countries that guarantee better conditions for local producers according to fair trade criteria.
  • Certification to prove compliance with the requirements for occupational safety and environmental protection in accordance with OHSAS or ISO 14001 or EMAS regulation , for example SCC or OHRIS .
  • Certification to prove working conditions according to SA8000 and similar regulations (examples: Sedex and BSCI ).
  • In the software industry , certification is particularly important with regard to computer security :
    • Certification of employees to document skills, qualifications and competence. See list of IT certificates .
    • Certification of software products with regard to functionality and quality. The American TCSEC and the European Information Technology Security Evaluation Criteria standards as well as the Common Criteria (CC) with regard to international recognition are particularly important here . In Germany, certification is carried out by the BSI .
    • Certification of the IT environment according to IT-Grundschutz . In order to accompany such a process in a company, basic protection auditors are licensed by the BSI. They are authorized to issue attestations in preparation for certification. The actual certification is carried out by the BSI.
    • In the area of Linux and free software , an important certifying institute is the Canadian LPI .
  • In the food industry today there are various standards based on the world-famous ISO 9001. These have been tailored to the needs of the food industry. Widely used standards are for example ISO 22000 , FSSC 22000 , the International Featured Standard (IFS), the requirements of the British Retail Consortium in BRCGS and others. The MSC standard of the Marine Stewardship Council is also enjoying increasing acceptance for fish .
  • Packaging manufacturers who produce packaging for direct contact with food ( primary packaging ) are often certified according to the ISO 22000 , FSSC 22000 , BRCGS or other standards.
  • Certification of pension products , e.g. B. Riester pension .
  • Certification of energy management systems according to ISO 50001 .
  • Sustainability certification of biomass and biofuels .
  • Company certification, e.g. B. for the area of ​​sustainability. Here standards are prescribed by the standard maker. In this case, the standard giver defines what sustainability means in a business context. The entire company (management, supply chains, products, etc.) is checked in the certification process.

Electronic certificates

The Open Badges project run by the Mozilla Foundation gives certifiers the option of issuing digital certificates. Certificate holders can present such certificates over the Internet.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Certification  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. The ISO Survey of certifications 2009 , 18th edition (2010), ISBN 978-92-67-10535-2 .