What’s the difference between accreditation and certification?

People sometimes gets confused by these terms that seem similar, but there are important differences.

What does JASANZ do?

JASANZ only accredits — it does not certify.

What’s the difference?

Let’s say a dairy farm requires the milk they produce to be certified to ensure it conforms to Australian standards, and to give their consumers confidence in their product.

They need to approach a certification body to begin the certification process, but want to be sure that the certification body is qualified and can be trusted. So they look for a certification body that has been accredited by JASANZ.

JASANZ accredits certification and inspection bodies. The JASANZ symbol is a mark of quality and reliability. It means that a certifier or inspector can be trusted to assess whether organisations management systems, products and people conform to quality standards.

What does accreditation entail?

Accreditation is a formal evaluation process. It’s an independent third-party assessment of the competence, impartiality and independence of a certification or inspection body. Visit Becoming Accredited if you’re a conformity assessment body seeking accreditation.

What does certification entail?

Certification is an evaluation of organisations’ management systems, products, services or people to assess whether they conform to standards. It’s conducted by a conformity assessment body. Visit the JASANZ Register if you’re an organisation seeking a conformity assessment body to certify your organisations’ management system, products, services or people.

Management system, products, people

Management systems, products and people often require certification against specified standards.  This requirement is often driven by customers or consumers of products.


The producer will search for a certification body to certify their organisations’ management system, product or people in order to meet the customer requirements.


JASANZ accredits the certification body using internationally recognised standards for accreditation.

Certification Body

The product chooses a certification body accredited by JASANZ for the necessary certification, giving them a competitive advantage.


The consumer of the producer’s product can now be confident knowing the product conforms to specified standards.