The Grading and Verification Division (GVD) conducts assessments of certification bodies to determine conformance to the International Organization for Standardization Guide 65:1996 General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems or ISO/IEC 17065:2012 Conformity assessment – Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services. These assessments are conducted under the voluntary USDA ISO Guide 65 or 17065 Programs. GVD 1012 Procedure outlines the general requirements of the USDA ISO Guide 65 or 17065 Programs. These requirements must be met by the certification body to be recognized as competent and reliable. Adherence to the USDA ISO Guide 65 or 17065 Programs ensures that the certification body operates a third-party certification system in a consistent and reliable manner.
The USDA ISO Guide 65 or 17065 Programs are available to U.S. and international certification bodies that perform conformity assessment activities for livestock, meat, seed, or other agricultural products or services. Certification bodies may request evaluation to a variety of standards including, but not limited to, National Organic Program (NOP) (7 CFR Part 205)
, European Union Organic Regulations (EC No 834/2007 & 889/2008), and Livestock, Poultry and Seed Program Marketing Claims Standards
. (NOTE: Certification bodies must be accredited to the NOP by the USDA National Organic Program and remain in good standing to be assessed to the NOP under the USDA ISO Guide 65 or 17065 Program.)
Certification agencies that wish to participate in the USDA ISO Guide 65 or 17065 Programs must submit a completed GVD 1012A or GVD 1012AA Checklist and submit it with the request for service.
Certification agencies that successfully pass the assessment are listed on the Official Listing of Approved USDA ISO Guide 65 or 17065 Programs.