A complaint against the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) has been escalated to the IAF regional body EA (European Accreditation Co-0peration), which purports to oversee UKAS’ compliance with ISO 17011.

In 2023, Oxebridge filed a complaint with UKAS after emails were uncovered showing a UKAS official justifying the prohibited practice of consulting companies selling accredited conformity assessment services for ISO certification. Despite documented evidence showing the Qatar-based consulting company Vibrant Consultancy selling UKAS-accredited auditing alongside their consulting services, neither UKAS nor URS took any action. UKAS then claimed that such practices were commonplace, and unless there was a “contract” formalizing the practice, ti could do nothing.

Oxebridge founder Christopher Paris has said this amounts to UKAS legitimizing bribery of its accredited bodies, and then laying out a blueprint on how to cover it up by suggesting they ensure there’s no contract for UKAS to investigate.

The original complaint, filed in August 2023, was ignored by UKAS. An update request was then sent in May 2024 and was also ignored.

Under UK law, EA regulations, IAF MLAs, and ISO 17011, UKAS is required to formally process such complaints. The EA is supposed to hold UKAS accountable to ISO 17011 and IAF signatory requirements. Complaints ignored by EA member bodies may then be escalated to EA for adjudication.

In the past, however, the IAF and its regional bodies, including EA, have instead worked to cover up complaints or provide bureaucratic cover for members under their oversight. In reality, EA has no true power over UKAS, which is part of the official UK government. Instead, the matter must be investigated by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), but that department has been hesitant to take actions that might bring theĀ UK’s famous accreditation body into disrepute.

UKAS also has the protection of a House of Lords member, Lord Lindsay, who provides UKAS public relations and some protection from government oversight,

Under the leadership of Matt Gantley, UKAS has pivoted to a position of ignoring international law, violating international sanctions, and allowing the UKAS logo to appear on certificates issued around the world, without concern for crimes committed by the organizations.

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Why we report on these topics

Since 2000, Oxebridge has worked to improve ISO and related certification schemes by identifying problems and then proposing solutions. We report on issues affecting standards users because so few other news outlets do. Our belief is that in order to fix the problems in these schemes, we must first understand the nature and breadth of those problems. Our reporting aims to do just that. Elsewhere on the Oxebridge site you will find White Papers and other articles proposing ideas to correct these problems.