New requirements auditing of management systems and auditor competence

Issue 24 – February 2011

The second edition of ISO/IEC 17021 sets new requirements for the auditing of management systems and for auditor competence, to increase the value of management system certification to public and private sector organisations worldwide.

The certification bodies that carry out management system certification (independently of ISO), are being given a 2-year period to bring their operations in line with the new edition.

Conformity assessment – Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems ISO/IEC 17021:2011 is intended to increase trust in certificates issued showing conformity to management system Standards (MSS) such as ISO 9001 (quality management), ISO 14001 (environmental management) and ISO 22000 (food safety management). Certificates to these Standards and other MSS are widely used in global markets to establish confidence between business partners and between organisations and their customers, to qualify suppliers in supply chains, and as a requirement to tender for procurement contracts.

Certification bodies that use the new edition will be able to ensure competent audit teams, with adequate resources, following a consistent process, and reporting audit results in a consistent manner.

Observance of the Standard's requirements is intended to ensure that certification bodies operate competently, consistently, and impartially, which will help to build recognition of such bodies and the acceptance of their certifications both nationally and internationally.

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