July 2016

China ISO 9001 Certificate - An Introduction

The China ISO 9001 certificate is a commonly received document when dealing with Chinese companies, which if verified, indicates that the organisation’s quality management system has been certified.

With more certifications in China than any other country, these certificates are far from rare, but regrettably we have found that there are many expired, adjusted, or simply fake certificates out there.

In China ISO 9001 certificates are issued by a wide range of certification bodies (both domestic and foreign) and it is important to understand whether or not they are accredited, by whom, and ultimately determine if they are reputable.

What is a China ISO 9001 Certificate?

This certificate is issued to an organization by a certification body to certify that their quality management system meets the requirements of ISO 9001. It is one of the most commonly provided documents from Chinese suppliers.

Depending on the certification body which issues it, the China ISO 9001 certificate can vary markedly in appearance but should always contain some key elements.

Generally speaking, an ISO 9001-certified Chinese company will receive both an English and Chinese version of their certificate which will typically look something like the certificate below:

What Information is Contained in a China ISO 9001 Certificate?

The information contained on an ISO 9001 certificate is very useful to help you determine whether the certification is:

  • genuine
  • relevant
  • issued by a reputable body.

In order to determine if you can trust the certificate, it is necessary to understand which information is about the certification, and which is about the certification body.

Certification Information

At a minimum, an ISO 9001 certificate should include the following details about the Chinese company and their certification:

  • Certificate number
  • Name of the company
  • The addresses which are covered by the certification
  • Standard number (ISO 9001) and revision year (usually 2008 or 2015)
  • Scope of certification
  • Issue and expiry date

About the Certification Body

Details about the certification body which issued the certificate will also be included:

  • Certification body name
  • Their logo
  • Accreditation logos and accreditation numbers

Who Issues a China ISO 9001 Certificate?

China National Accreditation Service Mark

A China ISO 9001 certificate is not issued by ISO itself, but by one of numerous “certified bodies” who should in most cases be accredited by CNAS (China National Accreditation Service).

There are both domestic and foreign certification bodies operating in China and determining how reputable they are, and thus the value of the certificate, can be difficult to determine. One useful approach is to check whether the certification body also has overseas accreditation.

Certificates should only be issued after the facility has been audited by the certification body and found to meet the requirements of the ISO 9001 standard.

Who Uses the China ISO 9001 Certificate?

Although holding a certified quality management system can be applicable in almost any industry, it is most common to find Chinese companies in the manufacturing sector holding an ISO 9001 certificate, especially if they are exporting to companies “in the West”.

Many western companies require ISO 9001 certification as a prerequisite to doing business and China has a whole industry built around providing low-cost, easy-to-implement ISO 9001 certification.

The result of this is that many Chinese companies acquire ISO 9001 certification without having much understanding of its meaning and only template-based quality documentation that isn’t really put to use in practice.

How to Verify a China ISO 9001 Certificate?

If your organization takes quality seriously and/or requires suppliers to hold ISO 9001 certification, than taking a China ISO 9001 certificate on face value is a big risk.

We have verified many ISO 9001 certificates and found a large number to be fake. This not only indicates that a company is untrustworthy, but may also indicate a higher risk of potential fraud.

As we outline in this article, it is possible to verify a China ISO 9001 certificate yourself, but this can be a complicated process depending on the certification body. 

China Checkup offer a more convenient approach. Safe your valuable time and let our experts make the check with our Certificate Verification service for a China ISO 9001 Certificate.

Verify a China Company.

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Further reading