The search for certification:

The brainchild of John Marsden, an independent ISO14001 specialist, employs specialist database software to enable organisations to find the right certification body for them.

Accessing enables the user to find the full range of certification bodies accredited with the industry scopes to undertake the audit required. The database and software used to extract this information is unique, and makes the process of identifying the industry-specific list of bodies almost instantaneous.

No charge
Once the shortlist of contenders has been finalised, a detailed questionnaire is completed and several screens of information are accumulated. The data is then saved and ensures that the three or four short-listed certification bodies are able to receive the information and submit a quotation for the three-year duration of the certification cycle. The final selection of a certification body can then be made.

The ease by which the process operates masks the huge amount of work that has been undertaken to create the service. The design of the software and database represents several months of development performed by a small team of programmers and developers. Marsden International (UK) Ltd designed and managed the whole project and an Oxford-based web design company worked to assemble the code. Data gathering and inputting the scopes into the database is an ongoing requirement for the service, and regular communications with the bodies is essential to ensure that the information is kept up-to-date.

The service is quick and easy to use, has no advertising and currently has no charge to the business user. A small commission is payable by the certification body but only where they have been selected on the basis of information provided in the quotation and other information obtained from the site.

The idea was the brainchild of John Marsden, an independent ISO14001 specialist, who has spent more than ten years working as an EMS training provider and certification auditor for a number of the world's leading companies within the oil, chemical and manufacturing sectors. He saw that the market for accredited certification spanned the globe and of the huge number of 3rd party bodies (over 700), only a few were well-known to the international business community, even within national boundaries.

During the last five years accredited certification of management systems such as ISO14001 and EMAS has become an industry in its own right. The prediction is that the number of global certifications is set to rise rapidly over the next decade as commercial organisations seek to demonstrate their green credentials. Many UK bodies now offer ISO14001 certification to business communities around the world as well as in the UK.

The website has secured several important domain names in order to establish a presence and to provide a memorable address. provides an entry point for those users interested in environmental certification. Similarly, provides the equivalent for quality certification and other domains relating to ISO19011 (the soon-to-be-launched EMS and QMS audit standard) have been acquired to help direct traffic towards the site.

Ease the process
The AuditScan™ software and database has been created firstly to ease the process of identifying and selecting a suitable certification body for the EMS audit process, and secondly to maximise the quality of environmental certification and associated management systems. The winners will be the business communities around the world which use the service as well as those certification bodies who are best able to provide customer satisfaction whilst demonstrating professionalism, impartiality and value-for-money.



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