The language surrounding ISO certification can seem daunting and complex – from long lists of numbered standards to a variety of acronyms. This week, we want to break down one particularly important example that governs the whole process of ISO conformity assessment: CASCO.
What is CASCO?
CASCO is the ISO committee that develops policy and standards for ISO conformity assessment, as ISO does not perform said conformity assessments themselves. CASCO is chaired by Reinaldo Figueiredo (also the Vice President of the ANSI National Accreditation Board) and vice-chaired by Caroline Outa-Ogweno (also with the Kenya Bureau of Standards). The CASCO Secretary is Cristina Draghici, who has over 7 years of experience with the Standards Council of Canada.
What does CASCO do?
CASCO exists to make sure that independent bodies (like Mark1) are performing third-party conformity assessments correctly and to a high, consistent standard. Since ISO does not perform conformity assessments, clear sets of guidelines for third-party assessors ensure that the process of becoming ISO certified is always standardised and professional. CASCO liaises with international organisations, works with a variety of ISO technical committees, and has an active partnership with the International Electrotechnical Commission.
Certification or Accreditation?
Certification “is the provision by an independent body of written assurance (a certificate) that the product, process, service, or system in question meets specific requirements.” The difference between this and accreditation is that accreditation is a formal recognition that a certification body is operating within national standards. This means that the certification bodies that you work with may be accredited, providing independent confirmation of competence, but this is not compulsory.
To discuss ISO conformity assessments, you can get in touch with our experts here.