The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) quietly approved the accreditation body United Accreditation Forum (UAF) for full membership, ignoring years of complaints and allegations of deadly fraud on the part of UAF-accredited bodies. Oxebridge has collected evidence showing that both the IAF and its regional body APAC colluded to ignore and “rubber stamp” official complaints filed against UAF in order to allow it entry into the ranks of recognized accreditation bodies.
Problems with UAF arose in 2019 when whistleblowers began reporting problems with certification bodies (CBs) claiming to hold UAF accreditation. This led us to investigate UAF, which claimed a US address, despite giving appearances that it operated out of India. UAF had hidden its staff and operations to such a degree that we hired a private detective to assist in the probe.
Eventually, Oxebridge learned that UAF was formed by Parveen Sadana of New Delhi India. Sadana had a prior history, in India, that pointed to some problems. Whistleblowers reported that his wife ran an ISO certification body, and that Parveen operated a second; the sources then said that Sadana used friends as consultants, essentially operating two certificate mills. At least one of them was accredited by JAS-ANZ at the time, but appears to have lost its accreditation. The other was supposedly not accredited at all, or accredited by Sadana himself’ these points are not clear.
Sadana then went on to create UAF, reaching out to a US contact — medical doctor Tejwant Chandi of Elizabeth City NC — as a “front” to claim a US presence, and thus market UAF as a US accreditation body. Chandi, by all accounts, had no active role whatsoever in UAF operations, but did allow his son, Jobin Singh Chandi, to manage the US operations for Sadana.
One of the two men, either Jobin Chandi or Sadana, then created a network of fake names, profiles, and fictitious persons to make the UAF staff appear larger than it was. Oxebridge found the company was being run out of Dr. Chandi’s home, and that there was — at that time — no actual office. Even Jobin Chandi used an obfuscated name, signing his communication as “Joe,” presumably to hide his father’s name.
The nest of fake people led me to call UAF a “phantom accreditation body.” Since then, we’ve learned that UAF moved out of Chandi’s home, and has adopted an office address in Norfolk VA.
Worse, back in 2016 the UAF was falsely claiming to be a “Full Member” of “PAC” (Pacific Accreditation Forum), the precursor to APAC. At no time was UAF a PAC member, and only applied to join APAC many years later, after the PAC name was changed. As I will indicate below, they only became a “Full Member” of APAC in 2022.
Lying about PAC and IAF membership for years should have been a discriminator, permanently barring UAF from actual membership, but as we will see, the IAF cares little about these things provided the checks clear.
History of Complaints and Fraud Allegations
In 2019, whistleblowers reported a problem with the certification body TNV, an Indian body that was found to be soliciting “partnerships” with consultants and then offering flat-rate audit fees, without considering audit duration. Both activities appear to have violated ISO 17021-1. TNV closed the complaint after only 40 minutes, rejecting the matter outright, and further violating ISO 17021-1’s rules on processing complaints. TNV also threatened Oxebridge with legal action.
The matter was escalated to UAF, which ignored the formal filing for over a year. We then pushed it higher, to the IAF’s regional body, APAC, of which the UAF then claimed to be a member. APAC, led by Graeme Drake, simply tossed the matter back to UAF after only two hours and conducted no formal processing of the complaint.
The IAF, which oversees both APAC and all the other players, took no action on any of the violations by any of the parties, despite having the authority to do so.
Finally, in late 2020, UAF replied — but did so by tossing out the matter entirely and joining TNV in defaming Oxebridge. In its formal reply, UAF falsely claimed that Oxebridge had lost a number of lawsuits, suggesting the company had no credibility. The UAF then falsely claimed that Oxebridge accepted “donations which can be used by other competitors for its defamation.” Both UAF and TNV then falsely accused Oxebridge of “extortion.”
This, in itself, was a violation of ISO 17011, which prohibits accreditation bodies from taking discriminatory action against complainants. Again, APAC and IAF did nothing.
Later that same year, Oxebridge filed a complaint against Eurolab / TurCert, a Turkish inspection body accredited by UAF, after whistleblowers provided credible evidence that TurCert had conducted improper testing on medical examination gloves. TurCert ignored the complaint but did respond with an insulting email to Oxebridge, and copied the UAF on it. That should have triggered an investigation by UAF for TurCert’s failure to process the complaint, but UAF ignored the matter as well.
Human Life at Risk
In 2021, another whistleblower came forth with a report that the TurCert had fraudulently approved the release of chemotherapy examination gloves used by oncologists and hospital workers. Exposure to chemotherapy drugs can be fatal for such medical workers, and the gloves must be properly tested and certified before being sold. The evidence showed that TurCert had performed improper testing on the gloves, and then certified them to standards for which TurCert had no qualifications. TurCert ignored the matter again, and Oxebridge then escalated it to UAF.
This time, we emphasized that UAF’s lax oversight was putting human lives at risk. A UAF representative, Yuliya Lalova — who Oxebridge could not confirm as a real person either — dropped the complaint without proper explanation, forcing Oxebridge to file a complaint with UAF directly, citing failures to comply with ISO 17011, the standard for accreditation bodies. Once again, UAF did not process the complaint, and took no action against TurCert. The gloves remain circulated in the market to this day.
Again, we filed a complaint with APAC, alleging the UAF violated its ISO 17011 obligations, and demanding UAF be removed from the IAF scheme. This time, APAC’s Drake sat on the complaint for months, finally ruling that because UAF was only an “Associate Member,” and thus not formally held accountable to ISO 17011, APAC would take no action. He could have said that up front, but delayed doing so to give cover to UAF.
This prompted us to file a criminal complaint with Australian authorities against APAC and Drake personally, for refusing to take action to prevent potentially lethal products from being sold to the hospital industry. Australian investigators closed the matter without action, saying they had no authority since the gloves were not sold in Australia. If doctors in Asia died because of Drake’s refusal to do his job, that was not their concern, and the Asian authorities would have to arrest him.
Immediately after, Drake quietly approved UAF for Full Membership in APAC, without giving any consideration to the history of complaints filed against the body. I’m told that the “peer evaluators” asked UAF if they “had any complaints” and Sadana either didn’t report them, or simply said they were closed. The APAC peer auditors never dug any further, and Drake himself buried the complaints in order to ensure UAF gained membership.
And, again, Drake ignored the fact that Sadana and the UAF had been falsely claiming membership in “PAC” for years, which should have disqualified UAF entirely. In fact, Drake should have sued Sadana, instead of rewarding him with actual membership.
But Drake’s salary is tied to his membership numbers, so he personally profited from this decision. Under US law, that would be criminal fraud, but I’m not sure what goes on over there in Australia.
Now, we’ve learned that the APAC promotion has allowed UAF to obtain full membership in the IAF itself, putting it next to long-standing bodies such as ANAB and A2La.
Currently, it appears that UAF only has two employees: Sadana and “Yuliya,” who does appear to be a real person, but working out of Belarus (that’s not clear, either.) So, again, it doesn’t seem quite possible that UAF could have passed its ISO 17011 peer assessment given it relies on people who don’t exist, and accrediting companies that clearly don’t comply with requirements.
But Drake’s decision to approve UAF, over the complaints sent to him on the matter, led Emanuele Riva at IAF to rubber-stamp UAF’s entry into the IAF. So now UAF and Sadana sit shoulder-to-shoulder with ANAB and SCC and other legitimate accreditation bodies, and Sadana wins.
Emboldened, the UAF has now joined ANAB, A2LA, SCC, and others as a founding member of the new North American Accreditation Forum, with Sadana being listed as a “director.” UAF continues to claim to be a US-based company, despite it being run by Sadana in India.
The rise of UAF from a dubious, Indian accreditation mill run by a suspected scammer who used fake identities, to full-fledged IAF member appears to reveal just how the IAF and its cronies are no longer concerned with the reputation and validity of ISO certifications and accreditations, but instead on bolstering its coffers by allowing any organization into its ranks.
The only real solution is to resolve the IAF problem in the US courts, but this is a heavy lift.
About Christopher Paris
Christopher Paris is the founder and VP Operations of Oxebridge. He has over 30 years' experience implementing ISO 9001 and AS9100 systems, and is a vocal advocate for the development and use of standards from the point of view of actual users. He is the author of Surviving ISO 9001 and Surviving AS9100. He reviews wines for the irreverent wine blog, Winepisser.