• Governance I Risk I Compliance Management

Certification can be a useful tool to add credibility, by demonstrating that your product or service meets the expectations of your customers. For some industries, certification is a legal or contractual requirement. ISO developed International Standards, such as ISO 37301 and ISO 37002, but ISO are not involved in their certification, and do not issue certificates. This is performed by external certification bodies such as ABAC Group (Certification Body accredited by the UKAS), thus a company or organisation cannot be certified by ISO.

Here’s some things to Consider when Choosing a Certification Body

1. Accreditation

Just as Certification Bodies will audit your company to verify your processes, the bodies themselves are accredited by a central body to ensure they uphold the principles of certification.  The most recognised of these is UKAS.

2. Cost

In some cases, high numbers of staff involved in the same process can reduce the number of audit days required. In other cases, the number of ‘effective staff’ is used as a measure of complexity and can also affect number of days. Generally certification bodies change by the day and the number of days are governed by UKAS. However, the rule around the number of days isn’t that straight forward.

3. Brand & Reputation

Some of the certification bodies have a highly recognisable brand, which can be attractive when considering using the certification mark on stationary and the website. However, some certification bodies operate in niche markets or have a particular reputation within an industry. When selecting a certification body it can be valuable to get feedback from customers, suppliers and competitors regarding their experiences of certification bodies.

4. Coverage

ISO Certification is recognised internationally, and if you operate in multiple territories, the coverage of a certification body can be an important consideration. The location of certification body branch offices can vary, and those who are further away from your branches can lead to increased travel costs. Alternatively, if you only operate in one country, then a smaller certification body could offer lower costs and a more personal service.

5. Travel Costs

The cost of travel and accommodation can vary between the certification bodies. Some will include travel within their day rates, however in many cases this will make the day rates look higher than competitors. In cases where certification bodies charge travel and accommodation on top of a day rate, the location of the auditor(s) is an important consideration. Often you can request certification bodies to cap the travel costs within their quote.

Charging travel and accommodation on top does not always make the overall cost more than other certification bodies.

6. Admin & Management Costs

There can be various other additional costs involved in certification including Application, Admin and Management fees. These can cover a variety of things including the certification’s back office, which is an important part of the certification relationship – as the back office will be responsible for arranging audit dates and dealing with any issues that arise. In some cases, some of these fees can be negotiated.

7. Other Services

It is also worth considering your future requirements and growth plans when engaging a certification body.

Many will provide training services (like ABAC Group), which can be a real advantage to a company as it grows, while others have specialist services such as compliance software, insurance services and industry analytics.


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Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence is an independent certification body that provides education and certification services for individuals and organisations on a wide range of disciplines and ISO standards, including:

ABAC® is accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS CB number: 10613) against ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 Conformity assessment — Requirements for bodies providing audit and Certification of the scheme’s management systems of ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems (ABMS). This makes ABAC® Certification the leading accreditated certification body specialising in global anti-bribery and anti-corruption, risk and compliance management system standards.




ABAC® was established as an independent division of CRI® Group to provide training and certification services to businesses seeking to validate or expand their existing compliance frameworks by developing the latest in best-practice anti-corruption, due diligence processes and procedures necessary for pursuing and maintaining global third-party affiliations. ABAC® Center of Excellence offers a complete suite of solutions designed to help organisations mitigate internal and external risks.