How to identify fake ISO certificates

Blog article by Tan Sim Bee, Certification Manager

Today, certificates of any kind can easily be counterfeited, and ISO certificates are no exception. The ability to differentiate an ISO certificate’s authenticity has become extremely difficult.

For users of an ISO certificate, it is absolutely necessary to find out if the ISO certificate received or came across is real or fake, especially if it is used for bidding a tender/project, selecting a key supplier, meeting contractual/local regulations, etc.

However, how can one distinguish or verify an ISO certificate’s authenticity?

Verifying the certificate directly with the certifying body is the best method. The website of some certifying bodies maintains a Register of their certified clients, and users of the certificate can verify the certification information and status of an ISO certificate through the Register. If there is no such Register, users can write directly to the certifying body to verify the authenticity of a certificate.

There are also other ways to verify, including checking with the accreditation body that authorizes the certification body to issue the accredited certificate, and the mechanism for verifying is also via the accreditation body’s website, if there is one, or writing directly to the accreditation body’s enquiry mailbox.

In order to stem the proliferation of fake certificates, the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) has recently released a global database to verify accredited management system certifications called IAF CertSearch. With IAF CertSearch, users can validate certifications with confidence, not only knowing that a certificate is valid, but also validating the accreditation of the certification body and IAF MLA Signatory. For details of the IAF CertSearch, please visit

Each ISO certificate issued by GICG has a QR code that can be conveniently scanned using a mobile phone to verify its authenticity. This extra feature brings confidence to the users of the certification obtained from GICG.

If you would like to find out more about certification with GICG, please visit or email us at



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