Does ISO certification expire

Does ISO certification expire?


The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) develops and publishes standards which enhance the effectiveness of a business’s quality management system. Many costumers ask about “does ISO certification expire?”. Acquiring an ISO certificate grants many benefits to a company, including brand recognition, risk reduction, improved control over the business and better quality products or services. ISO certification expiry usually happens three years after the date of issue. Edara systems  as an consultant can help you to renewed your ISO certification before its due date. 

How long does ISO certification last? ISO granting terms

The validity of ISO certification is for three years. It doesn’t matter you want to obtain  ISO 9001 certification, ISO 27001 or ISO 14001! The conditions are the same. The ISO certificate is only granted when the quality management system of a business aligns with the standards recommended by ISO. A company is only granted ISO certification once it successfully completes the final stage of the certification audit. A third-party body carries out the certification process. The ISO auditor unbiasedly reviews all the company’s procedures, policies and systems to ensure that there are no non-conformities. The stringent nature of the ISO audit process is what makes the ISO certificate well reputed, in demand and credible.

How long does an ISO last


ISO renewal period; Manage orderly audits

However, there is no guarantee that the validity would remain integral for the entire period of three years. To maintain the ISO certification’s validity, companies must conduct regular internal audits. In these internal audits, the quality management system is periodically evaluated so that the company’s intended objectives remain compliant with the standards outlined in ISO. If the company fails this mandatory annual surveillance audit, its certification is suspended. 

ISO certification expiry; Does ISO Certification Expire?

ISO certification expiry takes place three years after the date of issue. We are speaking about the International Organization for Standardization generally; Not specifying any certifications like ISO 45001, ISO 9001 or ISO 27001. However, as mentioned above, not all ISO certification remains valid for three years. If companies do not rigorously evaluate their systems or conduct annual surveillance audits, their ISO certificates can become invalid long before their expiration date. Once the ISO certification expires, companies can apply for its renewal.

ISO certification expiry

Renewal of ISO certification; Advantages of ISO revival

The reason why the majority of companies want to know “does ISO certification expire” and the managers are eager to renew their ISO certification is that certification grants many benefits such as better brand image, better credibility, and reduced risks. It’s not different if you want to renew your ISO 14001  or ISO 9001 certification. Similar to the audit conducted to issue the ISO certification, companies must undergo a renewal audit to renew their ISO certification. There is no specific time bound instruction for conducting the renewal audit.

It is recommended that this audit should be conducted as the certificate nears its expiration date. Some companies prefer to conduct this six months prior to the ISO certification expiry. Whereas others conduct it only few months before the certification cycle ends.

The purpose of this audit is to identify if the company’s procedures are still compliant with the ISO standards. This helps to verify or nullify the company’s certification renewal process. During the recertification process, the accredited certification body conducts a reassessment of the company’s documented quality management system. This reassessment aims to evaluate if the company’s management system continues to fulfil all the relevant requirements. Sometimes, other normative documents are also examined to determine any deficiencies in the company’s management system. 

Renewal of ISO certification

ISO certificate validity check; Being presentient in behest improvement

The reassessment not only reviews the past performance of the company’s quality management system but also examines the period prior to the ISO certification. By reviewing the company’s managerial history, the auditing body can identify its strengths, weaknesses and potential issues. Moreover, the auditing body also scrutinises documents and records related to internal audits to identify if the company has remained vigilant in its promise of continual improvement. Examination of documents related to internal audits helps to determine the effectiveness of the managerial preventive decisions and corrective steps. 

The person responsible for conducting the reassessment is given the status of lead auditor. The lead auditor accompanies the technical expert, the operation specialist and the team leader as they examine the company’s physical infrastructure. Even though the technical experts and specialists are members of the external accreditation body, they are not allowed to function independently without the lead auditor.

Usually, the recertification or renewal audit is planned and conducted three months before the ISO certification expiry. No matter which ISO certification you want to get; ISO 27001 or other ISOs. It helps to ensure continuity in the likely event that there are non-conformities identified during the audit. In some instances where the frequency of the surveillance audit is biyearly, the recertification audit is clubbed together with the surveillance audit. 

ISO certificate validity check

ISO recertification audit period; Changes and regulatory modification

Generally, the external accreditation body that awarded the ISO certificate to the organisation usually plans the recertification process. The company receives an advance notice. If the company wishes to renew its ISO certification, it must send an application. Changes such as the changes in location, addition of new services/products, regulatory modification because of product/service addition or changes in the top management need to be described in the application. Reviewing reports since the last reassessment or since the certification audit is helpful to identify any relevant changes. Reviewing the summary of past audit reports also helps to determine whether all clauses, areas and processes have been examined at least once in the certification period. Reviewing all documents helps to gauge the overall effectiveness in the management system in light of the changes in operation. Renewing the ISO certification helps to demonstrate the company’s continued commitment to maintain the effectiveness of its system.

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