What is a certification cycle?
You have been certified! #
From the moment you obtain the certificate, the certification cycle starts. In this article we inform you about the course of an ISO certification cycle.
How long is the validity period of an ISO certificate? #
An ISO certificate is valid for the duration of a full certification cycle, which takes 3 years. A certification cycle consists of multiple, recurring activities. After the initial certification and obtaining the certificate, a surveillance audit will take place in the first 2 subsequent years (i.e., 2 times). After the 2 surveillance audits, the recertification will take place. The recertification must be completed within three years of the initial audit (the certification date).
If the recertification is achieved, you will receive a new certificate with adjusted dates. After this, the same cycle follows as described after the initial certification. This means that a surveillance audit will take place 2 times in the following 2 years.
The cycle keeps repeating itself in this way. After the 2 surveillance audits, the recertification takes place again. And so on, and so on.
The image below provides insight into the timeline of a certification cycle.
What is a surveillance audit? #
In short, the focus during the surveillance audits is on the following aspects:
- Internal audits and management review;
- Previously identified nonconformities;
- Complaint handling by your organization;
- The objectives and results of the management system;
- Continuous improvement;
- Operational control of your activities;
- Assessment of any changes within the scope of certification;
- The use of logos and references to the certification.
You will receive a report from Brand Compliance after each surveillance audit. This report includes a summary of the positive points identified during the audit. Attention is also paid to any comments or observed nonconformities. It is important that you handle nonconformities in accordance with the established procedure and deadlines, in order to maintain the validity of your certificate.
What is a recertification? #
The purpose of a recertification is to confirm the continuity and effectiveness of your management system and activities within the scope of the certification. The design of a recertification audit is similar to a stage 2 audit of the initial certification. Here too, it is important that you handle nonconformities in accordance with the established procedure and deadlines, in order to be able to issue a new certificate to you in good time.
Does your management system or process change significantly during the certification cycle? Then you must inform Brand Compliance.
This includes, for example, changes related to:
- The legal form, organizational form or ownership;
- Organization and management;
- Contact address and locations;
- The scope of the certified management system;
- Major changes to the management system and processes;
- The Statement of Applicability (only applicable to ISMS).
Brand Compliance will review the submitted changes in relation to the requirements of the standard. Major changes may lead to an extra audit being carried out. Minor changes can in some cases be assessed during the next surveillance audit or during recertification.
If you have any further questions regarding the audit cycle or other questions, you can contact us at any time via the contact form.