New ISO 17021-1 Standard Released

This standard provides rules for certification bodies and their auditors when conducting conformity assessment audits for the purposes of certification, such as ISO 9001. It has been criticized for diluting rules which protect ISO 9001 end users, while relaxing requirements for the purposes of reducing costs of operation for the Certification Bodies. For example, the standard does away with the requirement for CBs to maintain public registries of their certified clients, making it increasingly difficult to verify the validity of companies claiming ISO 9001 certification. The standard retains previous language that allows, under many conditions, for registrars to engage in consulting, despite growing complaints that this increases costs on users and results in certifications of dubious value.