Quality Management: Assuring the Integrity of Third-Party Certification

By Diana Kirsanova Phillips
Dec 19, 2017 12:00 PM ET

Quality Management Is Key to Third-Party Certification

Third-party certification is widely recognized as playing an integral role in helping companies demonstrate their environmental, sustainability, and safety achievements to their customers and stakeholders.  As a certification body, the question we are most frequently asked is what qualifies us to do this work. Heading up SCS’ Quality Assurance Team, I liken my team’s services to providing a “safety net” for our company’s reputation. We assure that SCS’ operations run uninterrupted by supporting multiple accreditations in good standing and ensuring that our clients receive the most scientifically rigorous, impartial, efficient, and high-quality assessments from our auditors.

What is not immediately visible to our certification and audit clients is the complex, arduous work happening behind the scenes to safeguard professionalism and the rigor of the services we provide and upon which they depend. In short, a multi-level oversight system is employed to demonstrate our competence and fitness as a certification body.

During any given week, my team gets to work with a diverse array of certification and auditing programs spanning the economy and directly reinforcing the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. These programs range from food and agriculture to natural resource extraction to consumer and commercial product manufacturing.  Some notable examples include Forest Stewardship Council, Marine Stewardship Council, Organic, Non-GMO, BIFMA level, Indoor Advantage, FloorScore, SQF, GLOBALG.A.P., the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, and much more.  While vastly different, all these programs operate under the framework of SCS Quality Management System (QMS) ...


Article topics covered: Certifier Accountability, Accreditation Body Oversight, Scheme Owner Oversight, Internal Audits

Diana Kirsanova Phillips is SCS Global Services’ Director of Quality Assurance. SCS provides third-party certification for companies and organizations around the world. For more information, check out www.scsglobalservices.com, or contact Diana at DKirsanovaPhillips@scsglobalservices.com, 1.510.452.9089.