TDS CERT „knows how to certify ISO with a human face“…

publication date 03.05.2010

Certification with a human face

TDS CERT asserts, though, unlike many others, „they know how to certify ISO with a human face“ and they fully stand up to numbers of both domestic and foreign competitors, where the quality of service, on the one hand, needs to be balanced against the price on the other. 

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TDS CERT is a certification body of the Technical Supervisory Association in Brno which renewed its activities in 1992 after a decades-long interruption commencing at the turn of the 19th century. More than a century ago, it used to be the only supervisory body in our land and has now been again a fully-fledged member of a similar group of supervisory associations operating in Europe, such as Lloyd´s Register, TÜV(,-German and Austrian), etc. TDS CERT is accredited with the Czech Institute for Accreditation in Prague for certification of ISO standards 9000, 14000,  20 000, 27 000 and OHSAS 18001. Through this national accreditation it has been established in the superior European system, and its certifications have, to all intents and purposes, the same value as the aforesaid world-famous foreign certification bodies. 

TDS CERT asserts, though, unlike many others, „they know how to certify ISO with a human face“ and they fully stand up to numbers of both domestic and foreign competitors, where the quality of service on the one hand needs to be balanced against the price on the other. 

The subject of demand from the side of companies is, in this case, presumably, acquisition of an ISO-standard certificate; the company is firmly determined, they know what they want and have the necessary personnel and financial resources available. The company also knows the popular belief, perhaps subliminal, generally-shared by the public that, despite the fact an ISO certification is, on the one hand, perceived positively as a sign of a good level of management and quality assurance, on the other hand, it is viewed as a „bureaucratic monster“ demanding lots of needless red tape. ISO is then said to „be losing a human face“. The price plays no small role here as well - the price to be paid for the very certification, and the subsequent annual audits to be performed throughout the certificate validity period. 

The simple „how to“ method is the right choice of the supplier. It consists in establishing evaluative criteria, particularly the „risk“ ones, and plain comparing offers from several entities. Perhaps we may agree on the two essential criteria: the name of the certification body and the price to be paid for certification. In the coming sections of the text, we are bringing you some clues how to get yourselves oriented in the labyrinth of rival offers.  

1st evaluative criterion - name of certification body(CB). There are about 100 subjects accredited with the ČIS Praha offering their services on the Internet. It is often the case a company insists on using a specific CB arguing that they have to take into account the requirement of their foreign customer. Here comes a necessary clarification: the Czech and the foreign-born certificates are equal in value, provided that the particular CB has been accredited with the relevant national institution. You should also know the accredited CB has to be authorized to certify your line of business, i.e. has to be familiar with a particular profession and have a sufficient number of experienced specialists - auditors. You should be able to find information about a CB´s accreditation and ability to certify a specific branch of business on the Internet  –  on website presentations of the CBs in question or, as the case may be, on the website of the accreditation authority. Speaking about selecting a CB by its name, do not forget about REFERENCES. Nobody can give you better advice than a satisfied customer or one who „got their fingers badly burnt“. 

2nd evaluative criterion – price. No longer it holds true the foreign offers are markedly costlier than the Czech ones; they had to bring their prices down a lot to stay competitive here. Also, do not be fooled by a „very advantageous“ offer, often lined with incredible rebates (50- 60%) and implied to be „just for you“. Any rebate is suspicious, to say at least. Hardly anybody will work for nothing! The stale saying holds true even here:„We are not so rich as to buy cheap services!“ On the other hand  - in return for the expense, always demand the right added value! 

The TDS CERT crew recommend you the following: On enquiring about certification services, always act in person and try to get as much trustworthy information as possible!

Conclusion

In conclusion, here comes the obtruding question:, And where is the meat  - „the human face of ISO“?  TDS CERT auditors rank among the most experienced practitioners in the branch. They do not hustle companies into the red tape; they go from what has been established in the company and make an qualified assessment of whether such a practice still meets the relevant standard or not. When certifying, they apply requirements of the standards in such a way that each individual is convinced about their effectiveness and real usefulness. Hence the „ISO with a human face“ that everybody can accept, understand and make use of as well.

Make sure of all the aforesaid in person! Thank you.

Jiří Noss, Lucie Zapletalová

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