From what began as a noble idea to improve quality within companies and industries across the globe, ISO 9001:2008, AS9100-REVC, TS16949, ISO13485 and other quality certifications have been exploited, abused and monopolized driven by a multi-billion dollar corruption by numerous organizations. Perhaps the most devious and closely guarded secret behind this corruption is the myth of accreditation. The fact is, accreditation is and always has been a choice, not an obligation as clearly stated on the International Standards Organization website at

“In most countries (including the United States), accreditation is a choice, not an obligation and the fact that a certification body is not accredited does not, by itself, mean that it is not a reputable organization. For example, a certification body operating nationally in a highly specific sector might enjoy such a good reputation that it does not feel there is any advantage for it to go to the expense of being accredited. That said, many certification bodies choose to seek accreditation, even when it is not compulsory, in order to be able to demonstrate an independent confirmation of their competence.” Source: International Standards Organization (ISO).

How The ISO Accreditation Myth Works

Unfortunately the accreditation myth is practiced by all certification bodies accredited by American National Accreditation Board (ANAB®) and International Accreditation Federation (IAF). These deceptive registrars utilize dishonest or naive auditors and consultants to trick companies into believing accreditation is an obligation and ANAB® is the only so-called “official” accreditation body in the United States because it’s overseen by IAF. This of course as explained above is a downright lie so please don’t be hoodwinked into believing that ANAB® is the only “official” accreditation body in the United States. Utilizing the term ‘official’ in ISO/AS/TS certification is nothing but a deceptive method to imply an authority that is not there. Under these peculiar circumstances, IAF is actually more a ceremonial organization than an official organization. In fact, if one was to substitute the word ‘ceremonial’ for the word ‘official’ in the language of ANAB®, that would perhaps be closer to the truth.

Don’t Be An Accreditation Victim

ABAC warns all US companies to be aware of cunning consultants, certification bodies and auditors that use the accreditation scheme to acquire business from competitors. Keep note the trickery is always practiced by scaring companies into believing their certification will not be valid if not accredited by a certain accreditation body (ANAB®). Unfortunately every day thousands of companies nationwide become victims of the accreditation scam, and it’s costing these businesses millions of dollars that would otherwise be invested in a more cost-effective certification.

Report Dishonest Registrars & Individuals

If a registration company, consultant, auditor, salesperson or other individual is telling you that accreditation is an obligation and/ ANAB® is the only official accreditation to have on your ISO certificate, please report them to ABAC – American Board of Accredited Certifications. Please provide all material issued to you by the person making such bogus claims.