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Interesting Discussion IAF CertSearch Database - Repository of "properly" Accredited Management System Certs

Did your organization receive an invite to be listed in the IAF Certsearch database?

  • Yes, and we want to be listed

  • Yes, but we don't want to be listed

  • No, but we want to be listed

  • No and we don't care

  • Database? what database?

Results are only viewable after voting.

Sidney Vianna

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Staff member
The latest news on this saga.

Update on Development of an IAF Database of Accredited Management Systems Certifications
by Randy Dougherty and Marcus Long

In December 2015, IAF members voted to approve a set of principles for continuing consideration of development of an IAF database of accredited management systems certifications.

In early 2016, there was a call for nominations by members to participate on a database management committee (DMC). In February, we announced the members of the DMC, as follows:

AB Representatives:
Randy Dougherty (ANAB)
Emanuele Riva (ACCREDIA)
Kylie Sheehan (JAS-ANZ)

CB Representatives:
Marcus Long (IIOC)
Pierre Sallé (IAAR)
Ivan Savov (EFAC)

User Representatives:
Sheronda Jeffries (QuEST Forum)
Grant Ramaley (DTA)

The first meeting of the DMC was 4 April 2016 in Frankfurt during the mid-year joint meetings of IAF and ILAC. At this meeting, the DMC members nominated Randy Dougherty as Chair and Marcus Long as Vice Chair, and the IAF Executive Committee appointed them later that week.

The first priority is to develop the business case for an IAF Database. The DMC submitted a draft business case to all IAF members for their comment in July of 2016. This business case will be an Item for the IAF General Assembly in New Delhi, India, with the IAF membership to be asked to endorse moving the project forward to formally approach to potential suppliers and develop a final business case.

The DMC would be pleased to hear from IAF members with any ideas and suggestions for the database and in particular any contacts at potential suppliers.


Captain Nice
Staff member
Actually, we are talking about all ISO Management System Standards that are certifiable. Altogether, in 2013, they exceeded 1.5 Million.
There were roughly 30 million "companies" in the US alone as of 2014 according to some Google searches I did. World wide, who knows?

Just a thought to put this in perspective.

Sidney Vianna

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Staff member
The latest on the IAF database (more than a) decade-long saga:

Strong Progress on IAF Database

The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) Database Management Committee (DMC), in collaboration with consultant Jerry Norris, continue to make good progress on the development of recommendations for the IAF database of accredited management system certificates. The DMC will make these recommendations at the IAF General Assembly in Vancouver in October 2017 in the form of a formal proposal for the establishment of the IAF database.

At the heart of this work is the Principles document that the DMC consulted with the IAF membership on twice. The work now being carried out is to ensure that all these Principles can be adhered to in the database, from the security of information and the management of costs to the simplicity of data gathering.

One of the key tasks is the selection of potential vendors to develop and manage the database. A number have already been approached and ultimately those deemed suitable will be asked to submit a formal tender. Evaluation of the tender will be carried out, again with the Principles at the heart of the decision-making process. A final proposal from the DMC for the preferred vendor will be one of the key elements of the October presentation.

DMC Chair Randy Dougherty says, ‘the database presents a very significant opportunity for accreditation and accredited management system certification to really stand out as a global tool for business and governments to use. I am pleased with the progress with the DMC’s work which will demonstrate to the IAF membership that this will be a major asset for IAF, its members and most importantly the users of accredited certification’.

The DMC is always happy to hear any ideas or suggestions the IAF membership has on the database. These can be forwarded to Randy at or IAF Secretary Elva Nilsen at

Sidney Vianna

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Staff member
Hopefully, the database will be available before too long, but it is amazing the glacial pace of development...:mad:

From IAF Database of Accredited Certificates
IAF Database of Accredited Certificates

The 2017 IAF General Assembly has approved the establishment of a database of management system certificates provided by certification bodies accredited by IAF members.

The database presents a unique opportunity for organisations with accredited certificates, to be able to have their certificates in the database, presenting to the outside world the fact that they are certified to some of the world’s leading standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

IAF Chair Xiao Jianhua said, ‘I am delighted IAF is developing the database. This adds value to the certification bodies accredited by IAF members but most importantly to the organisations that hold over 1.6 million accredited management system certificates. The benefits extend even further, for example to buyers wishing to check if their potential suppliers hold such certificates’.

Xiao continues, ‘IAF will continue to work with its accreditation body and certification body association members, and very significantly, its users on this exciting development.’

As the database moves forward, IAF will provide further updates.

Sidney Vianna

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In the IAF/ILAC YouTube channel, a video was posted today that appears to be connected with the subject of this thread.

I offered the following comment to the video:

It is not clear if this video clip represents what IAF is going to put in place, or not, for it's own, being developed database. This video clip apparently is related to the website and I don't believe this model should be followed for the IAF effort. As someone who's been promoting the idea of a global database of ISO management system certificates for 15 years, I suggest, once again, that the model to be followed is the IAQG OASIS route.

Sidney Vianna

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Staff member
No, Marc. No specifics, but I found out a few things about the proposed database, which makes me unhopeful of success. While the IAF signatory AB’s will be mandated to support the database, the CB’s will participate on a voluntary basis. To me, that’s a deal breaker. That’s exactly why the IAAR database failed.

From what I heard, many CB’s are adamantly against such database. Why, I am not sure. Maybe such CB’s don’t like transparency.

Further, in addition to the official database, there would be an online directory of certified companies like the video I posted earlier. By creating such directory, they think companies would pressure their CB’ to participate in the program and also monetize and fund the development of the database.

As I said before, the success of OASIS should be emulated by the IAF, but the lack of authority and vision will mean failure of this database, in my estimation.

Sidney Vianna

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Staff member
The latest announcement is available @ Decision to Establish an IAF Database of Accredited Management Systems Certifications

Decision to Establish an IAF Database of Accredited Management Systems Certifications

IAF members made a historic decision that will probably be regarded in the future as a watershed moment. On 30 October 2017, the IAF General Assembly members voted affirmatively to proceed with the development of an IAF Database of Accredited Management Systems Certificates.

This was a very carefully considered decision. The stimulus for this started with a proposal by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to develop a database of management systems certifications. When ISO abandoned this project in 2014, the idea was tabled at IAF. A small task force within IAF worked a year to formulate 14 principles upon which to base a database; IAF members approved the set of principles by ballot in December 2015. Upon approval of the principles, a Database Management Committee (IAF DMC) was formed following a call for nominations from amongst all IAF members. The IAF DMC took two years to explore the feasibility and merits of the proposal, explore potential suppliers, manage a tender and presented the business case to members in advance of the IAF General Assembly held in Vancouver in October.

This historic decision now gives the IAF DMC the authority to undertake the work to create the database. The DMC is already hard at work to deliver this on behalf of IAF members and on behalf of global stakeholders (accreditation bodies, certification bodies, certified organizations and users of accredited certification) of accredited management systems certification. A new Limited Liability Company, wholly-owned by IAF, is being formed and will be responsible for oversight of the database. This new body will be contracting with a provider possessing the qualifications and expertise in the information technology space for the development and operation of the database. This should be accomplished before the end of 2017 with a goal that the database will be available before the end of 2018.
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On another thread the topic of the certification database came up.

This project has morphed into an IAF led program with the IIOC at the forefront.

So my questions to this group is:

  • What are the benefits of a database of accredited certificates?
  • Who are going to be the main users of the database?
  • What information needs to be in the database to make it useful?

I confess I'm in two minds about how useful this will be. I know I will use it and get sone value but unless it is going to provide value to a wider audience than the ISO / CB / AB geek fraternity (of which I am one :tg:) then there are probably better uses of money, methinks.

Sidney Vianna

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Staff member
Paul, back in 2009 in this post, I mentioned the ingredients for a successful and value-added database.

I've mentioned numerous times that the OASIS database should be the model to be followed, especially because of the feedback loop feature which would drive ACCOUNTABILITY to many stakeholders in the certification sector.

As to why this IAF-led database will fail, I already explained in this other, more recent post.

The lack of vision is staggering.
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