I saw several people mentioning fake certificates recently in the context of Chinese manufacturing. While I know there are many fake product certificates, I don’t think there are many fake ISO 9001 certifications, or those for ISO 14001, or ISO/TS16949 for that matter.
My point of view is simple. There are many registrars, and many “consultants” that “guarantee a pass” and that know which registrars are very lax. It means factories simply pay and get the certification. It is not much more difficult than faking it.
The advantage of a “real but undeserved” certificate is that a real registrar’s name can be shown. And potential customers can even call the registrar and ask if that company is certified.
Does it mean that you can visit a factory and then call the registrar to check the certificates’ validity? It is not that simple for two reasons:
- The official company name is in Chinese. And I guess many local registrars won’t have an English speaker respond to your inquiry.
- In China, a factory boss often has several companies and tracking who is who is complicated. The business environment here is opaque.
Rather than checking if a certificate is genuine, I would encourage buyers to check if it is deserved. I listed some points that can easily be checked here. And many companies, including mine (Sofeast), make a living of checking just that. It is not expensive.
Do you agree?
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