Use of ISO Certification Marks & Logos

The trust and integrity of certificates issued by ISO Certification Bodies underpins the entire industry.  Without it certificates and associated marks have no value and offer no assurance to stakeholders.

So it’s important that certification marks are used correctly.

While management system standards don’t address the use of certification marks directly, certification bodies are bound by ISO 17030: General Requirements for Third-Party Marks of Conformity.

This standard puts a responsibility on certification bodies to not only enforce rules around the use of marks but also to seek out misuse of their marks, even among organisations that are not their clients.

As a client, you will have agreed to rules and licensing requirements with your certification body and it’s important to comply with these.


There are some important considerations when using certification marks or logos on your website or documentation:


You must be Certified by the Certification Body

This might seem obviously but for the avoidance of doubt, to use a certification mark you must be certified by that body.

This means being compliant with their ISO certification scheme by completing both stage 1 and stage 2 external audits initially, and surveillance audits there after.

Even after a successful stage 2 audit, your organisation will only be “recommended for certification” until it has been confirmed by the certification body’s back office processes, who then issue the certificate.

So while you may talk about “working towards certification” or even having “completed the audits”, until you receive the certificate you should not use any certification marks on your website or paperwork.

If your certification lapses or is suspended, you should remove the marks immediately to avoid confusion.

Furthermore, the ISO logo is also protected, so making your own ‘ISO certified’ mark including the ISO logo should not be done either.


Take a look at the rules around use of the ISO logo: ISO name and logo.


Avoid NonConformities for Your Use of Certification Marks

If certification marks are not in compliance with the body’s rules, or the requirements of ISO 17030, a Certification Body may raise a non-conformance during external audit.

However, the rules can sometimes change, particularly where there are requirements to hyperlink the mark on your website back to a particular page of the certification body’s website, and this can cause unexpected nonconformities.

To avoid problems you should access the latest guidance on logo use from your certification body before an external audit.  This is often available through their client portals or websites.

Review the current rules and check for compliance where you use a mark.  You should also check that any hyperlinks attached to the logos are still valid. 


Don’t Be Discouraged from using Certification Marks!

By going through the rigorous ISO Certification process, investing time and money into the project, you have earned the right to proudly display these marks, so don’t let a NonConformance discourage you.

If you have any queries, you should reach out to your certification body for clarification.


We can help you find an ISO Certification Body to meet your requirements.  

Contact us to find out how we can support you!