Quality and ISO 17065
FLOCERT delivers high quality services. For us, quality means:
- providing accurate, impartial and credible information which our customers can use to make an impact.
- gathering and delivering this information in a lean, service-focused and understandable way.
FLOCERT has been accredited to the ISO 17065 standard since 2007. We find this very important – for us as a certification body, and for the complete Fairtrade system to demonstrate quality and compliance.
How do our customers and partners benefit from FLOCERT’s ISO 17065 accreditation?
FLOCERT’s ISO 17065 accreditation demonstrates to the public that a) FLOCERT’s Fairtrade certification system is meeting the highest international quality standards and b) FLOCERT’s compliance with this standard is regularly checked by an independent national accreditation body. Thus, for many retailers and brands, a certification body running an ISO 17065 accreditation provides a true quality stamp and a proven, globally accepted mechanism for reducing risk; whether it be in Fairtrade certification, organic, ISO 9001, UTZ, or Rainforest Alliance.
How do FLOCERT and the Fairtrade movement benefit from an ISO 17065 accreditation?
In just one sentence: an ISO 17065 accreditation creates happy and satisfied customers. It helps us to improve and strengthen our organization, making processes leaner and more robust. It is a valuable asset; it reinforces our brand and ensures quality which clearly sets us apart from the competition.
As confirmed by the German National Accreditation Body DAkkS, FLOCERT’s Fairtrade certification system meets the requirements of ISO 17065. Our accreditation demonstrates that:
- we issue certificates that can be trusted by the market,
- we are independent in our certification decisions,
- we have well-trained staff and auditors,
- we treat all customers equally,
- we are transparent in our processes and keep customers and the public informed each step of the way,
- we have a quality management system to help constantly improve our services,
FLOCERT is accredited for the Fairtrade Standards for Small Producer Organizations, Hired Labor, and Contract Production, the Fairtrade Trader Standard and all product-specific Fairtrade Standards (except gold and the section on ‘Requirements for operators in the cotton chain’ of the Fairtrade Standard for Fibre Crops).
How does FLOCERT comply with ISO 17065 accreditation?
Impartiality & Equality
• We have a governance system in place, ensuring that certification decisions are taken impartially.
• We are based on a solid financial system which is not dependent on any customers.
• We rely on an appeal process which ensures the objective review of challenged certification decisions.
• We act on the 4-eye principle and hold ourselves accountable for our actions – always.
• We apply procedures that ensure equal treatment of all our customers.
Methodology & Technique
• We provide auditors with sufficient on-site audit time to perform a professional
• We do not compromise on audit time, and we utilize best practice sampling methods.
• We conduct producer audits based on best in class social audit techniques.
Information & Application
• We manage the certification business by operating best practice IT application systems.
• We transparently interact with our customers; whether on certification decisions, appeals or complaints.
• We actively make sure that confidentiality rules are adhered to, and we would always take action if confidentiality is breached.
• We carry out a strict control of all documents describing our certification system. This ensures that FLOCERT staff know what is expected of them and provides access to the latest, properly approved version of a document at all times.
• We keep records of all the information we gather during the course of a certification process relating to a specific customer.
Quality & Competence
• We employ highly qualified and fully trained auditors and certification staff.
• We are very approachable, speak the regional languages and understand the local context.
• We run a best in class auditor evaluation system to actively monitor and manage
• We carry out regular internal audits to make sure FLOCERT staff understand our working processes and are adhering to them. It’s a good way to keep developing and improving our internal systems.
• We carry out a Management Review once a year. Through this, we evaluate the efficiency of our quality systems and identify areas for improvement.
• We run a Quality Improvement System, allowing each staff member to contribute proactively for the constant improvement of our systems. Every voice is heard.