Choosing a Registrar - What Should We Look For in a Registrar?

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From our registrar- accreditation is registration for a registrar. As for registration to a standard, I went by their scopes:

ABS Group ( Texas)(registrar SGS) Engineering verification and facility verification, certification of mechanical integrity of support systems and components, marine technical and management system consulting, training, and publishing services.

Moody International Ltd (Canada)(registrar QMI) Quality surveillance services.

SGS (various areas) (registrar ABS) Design and provision of trade facilitation, verification and monitoring services mandated by government and national/international institutions.
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OK, Just a few comments.

I understand that you would not want a competitor to see your "proprietary" business processes, however I have seen nothing in this thread that can point to a Registrar using the very tool of continuous improvement that they audit the thousands of ISO registered companies to. Competitors and like companies routinely share information that is mutually beneficial. There is ABSOLUTELY NO reason why a registrar should not be ISO registered other than they don't need to invest the money because WE never call them on it.

So you say Registrars are kept in line by Accreditation bodies such as the ANSI-RAB to internationally accepted Standards such as ISO Guide 62 and ISO Guide 66? Who oversees the Accreditation bodies? If they are held to such strict standards, why have I seen numerous threads on this forum, and experinced several times personally the blatant misuse and abuse of registration practices from registrars? And please don't reply that they check any and all complaints they receive. If the registrars were ISO registered they would have to show evidence that they met the customer requirements and had a customer feedback process. If we all see it, why can't the "Governing bodies"? Besides, if you ask me, the RAB hasn't done such a bang up job over the last ten years of keeping the whole game in line. It looks to me like they decided to appoint themselves keepers of the key. Sounds like they do what they want and we do what they say.

I think the ISO 9000 concept is great, it may have some flaws, but nothing is perfect and the standard is progressing logically, albeit slowly. I also think there are some great registrars out there. I have no problem with them making a profit, that is what they are in business for. The subjectivity allowed by the registrars and the "interpretation" of the standard afforded by the Governing bodies is a HUGE problem. I have worked for or consulted for 5 companies who all received registrationl on the first attempt, but make no mistake, The fox is gaurding the henhouse and getting fat in the process.

Registrars should be required to be registered to the standard they audit to and the the subjectivity and interpretation of that standard should be removed. The governing bodies should also be registered. It should be a standard, not a "double standard"

OK, I'm done


Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Carl, when you say that there is no reason for Registrars NOT be certified, I can only say, running the risk of repeating myself, why would a Registrar pay a COMPETITOR to scrutinize their most sensitive inner processes and records?:bonk: Even under the most severe confidentiality clauses, it would not make any sense.

Yes, I am aware that competitors might share some information of mutual interest, but organizations guard their most of their business processes and data as close as possible, from the competition.

Concerning the integrity of the accreditation process, I have been voicing my concerns, for a long time now, albeit in other forums. You are correct to question who keeps the accreditation agencies in check. Supposedly they have a peer review process administered through the IAF. However, the Accreditation Agencies are not policing the market place the way they should, in my personal opinion. Some industries are trying to either enhance or by-pass the Accrediting Bodies. The TS16949 and AS9100 accreditation processes are just two examples of this recent phenomena. Let me paste one of my old posts from another forum, concerning this:

" . ..Like I have been saying for the last 7 years in this discussion list. Just like in any other aspect of life, this third-party certification business is no different; there are reputable, professional, serious Registrars and auditors, and, then, there are those just trying to ride the ISO wave and make a buck out of this. It will always be a buyer beware situation.

Can the Accreditation process guarantee credibility of the process?
Only to a certain extent.

In my opinion, the accredited third-party system for certification of management systems needs to be refined. At this point in time, it is not a closed loop system. The Accreditation Agencies (ANSI-RAB, RvA, UKAS, etc. . .) do not have to answer to anybody, other than themselves during their peer reviews. In my view point, these agencies need to be accountable to Industry at large who are the “end consumers” of third-party certificates. Otherwise, who polices the police? What if there were knowledgeable, serious entities, such as IAOB, AAQG, Semitech, etc. while representing their Industry sectors, make sure that the Accreditation process guaranteed the integrity and competence of Registrars? Then we would close the loop. Industry could rely on the third-party certificates that they need. Industry would be able to define/refine/augment requirements for the Accreditation process.
Some recent examples of that, starting to take place: through the IAOB TS 16949 and the AAQG/SAE AIR 5359 AS9000 Accreditation processes. Obviously the QS-9000/AIAG process has been addressing this issue, as well, for a number of years, now.

In my opinion, until the Accreditation Agencies and Industry develop processes by which the credibility of third-party certification is maximized, there will always be a lingering shadow over the validity of third-party certificates. . . "

And finally, concerning Registrars being certified, it looks like none of the 3 listed are certified. Moody International's scope of certification (quality surveillance services) is not clear if it includes management system certification services. ABS QE and SGS ICS, the business units of ABS Group and SGS responsible for management system certification services seem NOT to be included in the scope of certification, either.


Registrar Interview

Originally posted by ISO GUY
I would love to change Registrars I think we are getting soaked by ours 20k for three days two guys to me is out rageous.
The other not sure what your business is but DLS-Quality Technology in New York, small Registrar very service oriantated very reasonable in price.
And hey you never know if you decide to go with one of those Registrars I may be your auditor!!
ISO Guy,

Two things:

1. Is that 20K two guys- three days twice a year? Is it the the cost for registration?

2. We will be interviewing DLS Quality Technology out of New York sometime real soon. My conversation with their VP went well and I sense that they match your description pretty well. As for the possibility of you being an auditor at our facility, all I can say is that I take back every bad thing that I ever said about you!:agree: :biglaugh: :smokin:

Aaron Lupo

Re: Registrar Interview

Originally posted by energy

ISO Guy,

Two things:

1. Is that 20K two guys- three days twice a year? Is it the the cost for registration?

2. We will be interviewing DLS Quality Technology out of New York sometime real soon. My conversation with their VP went well and I sense that they match your description pretty well. As for the possibility of you being an auditor at our facility, all I can say is that I take back every bad thing that I ever said about you!:agree: :biglaugh: :smokin:
Nope that was the total they come once a year for three days (6 mandays), so 20k is the annula cost kind of high don't you think! :eek:

That's great!! I think you will find they are very easy to work with very knowledgeable and helpful. As far as taking back all the "bad" things you have said about me, I don't see them as bad words I see it as customer feedback for my continual improvement!! :cool:


Re: Registrars being registered?

Originally posted by Lucinda

Some accreditation bodies are lazy and will pass anyone. RAB audits are a joke. You can put the evidence of nonconformance right in front of their nose and they won't do anything. I would not accept a registrar who carried RAB only.
Why? Do you own the company? Are you concerned that you're processes aren't good enough or do you just like the challenge? Give me the philosophical rendition and then the real world dissertation. Why would I want the toughest of the toughest? Our business is running successfully at this point, without ISO Registration. We are forced to achieve it because newer larger Customers expect it. Why would I subject the company to the type of Registrar you suggest? Are they going to improve our business? Or am I just putting hurdles in the way of progress? I certaintly wouldn't want you, no disrespect intended, to deal with as opposed to an auditor who has no preconceived perceptions regarding how we should be doing business. Your (here goes that word again) "Purist" attititude towards 100% compliance as you see it, or nothing, I can do without. It adds nothing to our success as a company. It just gives me sore ones when it's time for Surveillance audits. I'll take the easy way. It's not necessarily the wrong way. That's a perception issue in the eye of the beholder. Don't take it personal, Lucy!:agree: :smokin:
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That's Pretty decent, Sam!

That's not bad, Sam. The way I figure it, if we go with continuous certification within a specified time frame, it would be comparable. The one quote I got adds the incentive to be "Continuous" and save a couple of grand. Just have to interview about 5 more.

Hey Admin,
We're using your Registrar interviewing questions. It was interesting that you mentioned hearing that some Registrars were charging for handling N/C's. This particular registrar told me to watch out for that! Onward and downward:ko: :smokin:


Still plugging along
my purist viewpoint


Don't know how to do the "quoting" thing so I can't put your questions here, but I think my response will be clear enough.

Registration is expensive. If all a company wants is a piece of paper to hand to clients and doesn't care about anything else, then a cheap registrar who only carries RAB accreditation is good enough.

But given that alot of discussion in this forum has centered around the "value" of registration and what does it really mean to anyone and why then are clients requesting or requiring their suppliers to be registered, (deep breath), how can you further promote the devaluation of something so costly?

My goodness, the only thing that distinguishes the "value" of the registration is the rigidity and thoroughness of the audit; the competency and intelligent thought of the auditor; the outside experience and knowledge of literally hundreds of ways to address something; strict adherence to criteria and stern consequences.

No, I don't own this company but the selection of the registrar will be primarily my decision. And I want to say more than "we have a piece of paper". I want to have someone who puts us through the test and delivers a solid gold endorsement.

My company's reputation will be enhanced by the registrar's reputation. THAT is what we are ultimately buying.

Buying a cheap and easy registration is like eating bar-b-que with no beer. *shutter*
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