The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) recently carried out a survey to ascertain the drivers for seeking organizational certification and the importance of accreditation. A total of 4,191 respondents completed the survey from 41 different economies and most had responsibility for managing quality in their organization. 86% had responsibility for certification related activities.

The top reasons for gaining organizational certification were to improve internal business operations and processes and to meet customer and regulatory requirements. Marketing purposes and competitive advantage were also cited as main reasons. 91% of these businesses used an accredited certification body to ‘prove that it complies with best practice and is competent to deliver a consistently reliable and impartial service which meets the appropriate, internationally-recognized standards’. The remaining 9% either did not know the status of their certifying body or had used a non-accredited body. Africa Value Solutions (AVS) working with our partners can help IT organizations in the East African region get ISO/IEC 20000 certification for IT service governance and the ISO/IEC 27001 for IT security.

60% of the businesses surveyed hired an external consultant to guide them through the certification process as most thought the process was either average or complex. With regards to the time it took to complete certification, 71% confirmed it had met their expectations. Furthermore, only 1.7% of organizations questioned the competence of the personnel who assessed them; I think that’s credit to the fact that most assessors came from accredited organizations themselves.

But here’s what we really wanted to know:

Has accreditation added value to their business? Yes it has. 83% agreed or strongly agreed that the certification process added value to their organization and about half reported an increase in sales.

Was their certification recognized? Achieving certification helped 79% of businesses to meet regulatory requirements and 81% reported that their certified status is important to their direct customers.

These statistics are positive and the percentages are significant; it’s clear that gaining certification adds value to an organization.

Certification doesn’t only apply to organizations – gaining professional qualifications enables professionals to achieve higher success rates in their careers as well as higher salaries. This correlation is not a coincidence, by selecting a quality organization to provide you and/or your business with certification; the facts show  you are increasing your chances of improved services and sales.