UKAS CertCheck is a vital tool for companies that require accredited certification to fulfil their supply chain or other services

The certification aims to demonstrate that a business conforms to the criteria laid out in a recognised standard or scheme, such as ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems. This process is designed to assure end-users that the organisations, products or personnel that are the subject of this certification are underpinned by suitably robust management systems.

Value of accredited certification

Accreditation of certification is a further step that deepens this confidence level via impartial, third-party assessment of Certification Bodies, confirming their competence, impartiality and independence. Accredited certification is often relied upon as the foundation of a robust and secure supply chain, and holding accredited certification can often be the deciding factor in tendering decisions as a result of this enhanced confidence.

Fraud undermining trust

The value of all the above, hinges on trust in the certification system. Protecting the integrity of accreditation as a reliable means of ensuring competence is a critical objective of UKAS as the National Accreditation Body for the UK. Therefore, UKAS has a responsibility to develop methods of thwarting those seeking to undermine trust in this system through fraudulent certification.

Where reliance on accredited certification is important for your business, there is a responsibility to ensure any such accredited certification is current and maintained, which lies with the users of accredited certification. Fraudulent activity, such as the dangers of counterfeit certificates or false claims of accredited certification, poses a genuine risk to businesses and could undermine the credibility of your quality infrastructure, leading to reputational harm and loss of business.

The dangers of counterfeit certificates

When unchecked, counterfeit certification results in the false assurance that a supplier meets all the required standards, and it can expose a company (and its customers) to poor quality products or services that are unfit for purpose. As well as the risk to reputation and loss of customer trust, fraudulent certifications can prevent an organisation from meeting required standards, resulting in fines or other penalties.

There is also the risk that fraudulent certification may result in a company not following appropriate procedures and protocols, leading to workplace safety issues or other operational problems.

Protect against fraud

If you rely on accredited certification as part of your business delivery, there is one easy step you can take to protect yourself from fraud.

Verifying a claim of UKAS accredited certification via UKAS CertCheck is quick, simple and free. If you know part of the company name of your supplier or their certificate number, you can easily verify their certification on CertCheck. This check provides you with:

  • Confidence that the supplier’s accredited certification is valid and current.
  • Details of the Certification Body that issued the certification.
  • Details of the scope of certification so you can check it covers your needs.
  • Details on any other accredited certifications that the supplier holds.
  • The ability to follow a supplier and get automated updates when anything regarding this certification changes.

Protect your supply chain

This free-to-use online database provides a quick and simple means of checking the authenticity of claims regarding Management System certification and is a valuable weapon in your counter-fraud arsenal.

CertCheck has a range of useful features that enables companies to protect the integrity of their supply chain. In addition to allowing fast verification that certification is currently accredited for the activities it claims, it also provides a convenient portal for users to submit certification queries, either directly to the Certification Body, or to UKAS itself.

Those that depend on accredited Management System certification can trust in the results returned by UKAS CertCheck because uploading management system certification data is mandatory for all Certification Bodies. This means that through UKAS CertCheck, the validity and verification of management system certification can be done in a single, fast and simple process. Additionally, you can be sure that if a certificate does not appear on CertCheck, it is not currently accredited.

Easier identification of fraud

Since the launch of UKAS CertCheck last summer, UKAS has been made aware of several instances of counterfeit certificates in circulation, as well as organisations falsely claiming to hold accredited certification or otherwise having an affiliation with UKAS.

The UKAS website has a dedicated page, that is maintained and up-to-date, which lists the organisations known to be issuing counterfeit certifications or are otherwise falsely claiming an affiliation with UKAS.

In the ‘Contact Us’ section of the UKAS CertCheck website, there is a specific section where users can submit details of suspected counterfeit certifications, including the option to upload examples of suspicious certificates.

Sign up to UKAS CertCheck for further benefits

UKAS CertCheck is free to all users, however, there are security measures in place to protect our Certification Bodies by preventing data-scraping that places a limit on the number of daily searches that can be carried out. However, you can increase the number of searches carried out in any 24-hour period by registering for a free account.

In doing this, you can:

  • Conduct up to ten daily searches (three times more than without an account). You can search for the certificate number or the full or partial company name. This will present you with full details of the certification, including the scope, the awarding Certification Body, location and any other additional information.
  • Gain access to the CertCheck dashboard, which provides a summary of all your recent searches.
  • Confirm the authenticity of almost 400,000 certifications.
  • Create a watch list to monitor your supply chain proactively. This will notify you by email of any changes in the accreditation status of watched certificates.
  • Verify the accredited certification your suppliers hold.
  • Communicate easily with Certification Bodies.

Therefore, if your organisation relies on accredited certification to fulfil your supply chain or to conduct other services, you should be using UKAS CertCheck for optimal confidence.
Find out more here.

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Strategic Development Director
United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS)
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