The Dutch accreditation body Raad voor Accreditatie (RvA) ignored a complaint filed with it by Oxebridge related to its certification body Control Union. That complaint detailed that while RvA had suspended multiple accreditations for Control Union, the certification body simply ignored the suspensions and continued to market itself as being fully accredited for months. instead, RvA silently lifted the suspension entirely, never holding Control Union accountable for its false marketing.

As reported previously, Control Union was subject to a full suspension of its worldwide issuance of ISO 9001 certificates, and local suspension of activities related to its offices in Poland and Israel. Despite this, Control Union continued to market itself as accredited by RvA. Accreditation rules governing the use of marks require the CB to withdraw such statements when accreditation has been suspended or withdrawn.

On November 25th 2020, Oxebridge wrote to RvA representative Casper van Erp detailing the problem. Van Erp did not reply, and it has since been learned that RvA unilaterally lifted the suspension for Control Union.  RvA never provided any response or explanation, nor did it formally notify Oxebridge of its decision to lift the suspension.

The matter has now been escalated to a formal complaint against RvA for multiple violations of ISO 17011, the standard governing accreditation bodies.

RvA is subject to ISO 17011 as a signatory of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) multilateral agreement, which is then regionally enforced by IAF regional body EA (European co-operation for Accreditation.) Previously, EA has ignored its own responsibilities and repeatedly sided with accreditation bodies even in cases where criminal cover-ups were alleged.

RvA is also subject to EU regulation EC-765-2008, which codifies its requirement to operate in accordance with ISO 17011 under EU law. If it is found that RvA and EA violated those regulations, they can be subject to enforcement actions.

The IAF itself has repeatedly refused to enforce the accreditation rules, or even its own multilateral agreement, once accreditation bodies have paid their membership fees.  IAF representatives Elva Nilsen and Xiao Jianhua have both refused to respond to the unfolding scandal whereby a Board member of the accreditation body IAS was found to be selling ISO 17021 “template kits” to accreditation bodies accredited not only by IAS itself, but by bodies across six continents. The IAF has also refused to take action related to dramatic bribery allegations against an Austrian IAF member, which is now under criminal investigation in that country.

UPDATE 10 December 2020: RvA has acknowledged receipt of the escalated complaint and is processing it.


ISO Benchmark

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.


Available Tools

Oxebridge Swag