What’s the value of accreditation?

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What’s the value of accreditation?

04 January 2012

To better understand the value of accredited certification, the global association of accreditation bodies, the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), surveyed businesses in 40 different economies to clarify the drivers for seeking certification, the factors involved in choosing a certification body, and the extent of any benefit derived from the certification process.

Over 4,000 responses were received from businesses of all sizes operating across a diverse range of industries. While the majority of respondents were responsible for managing quality within their organization, over a quarter of respondents were either finance directors, marketing managers or other senior management personnel. This indicates that the value of certification is recognized across the spectrum of business functions, and not just in the traditional quality management arena.

Over 80% of all respondents reported that certification had added value to their organization with around half of all participants seeing an increase in sales as a direct result of the certification.

This correlates with the results of the Nadcap 20th Anniversary survey where over 1,500 aerospace suppliers from around the world reported that Nadcap accreditation had helped to increase sales and win new business with comments such as “We have more and more customers who come to us because of our Nadcap accreditation and the numbers seem to be increasing over the last six months” and “It has opened us up to new customers and allows processing in house of existing customers products”.

Internal business improvement was listed by nearly half of all participants as the main driver for seeking certification, while around one third said it was a requirement of their customers.  However, respondents overwhelmingly stated that certification was important to their customers.

This is also supported by Nadcap survey data which shows that 60% feel that accreditation has helped to improve standardization, 26% that it has improved visual inspection and 15% that it has increased productivity. One respondent commented “Our Nadcap Accreditation is value added for our company. It has assisted in standardization, increased profits, and increased quality. All companies are looking for value added programs in this day and age, Nadcap is one that should not be overlooked”.

And it’s not just the larger companies that are realising these benefits though, as nearly two-thirds of respondents work in SMEs, half of which have less than 50 employees.

The findings of the IAF survey confirm the value of a program like Nadcap, with businesses generating significant benefits from accredited certification. Not only is accreditation being used as a tool to deliver internal business improvement and regulatory compliance, but businesses confirmed that it has a positive effect on revenue. Given these benefits, and in light of the reported satisfaction with the assessment process, businesses appear to recognize the value for money that accredited certification provides them.