The Quality Assessment Division (QAD) conducts assessments of certification bodies to determine conformance to the ISO/IEC 17065:2012 Conformity assessment – Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services. These assessments are conducted under the voluntary USDA ISO/IEC 17065 Program. QAD 1012 Procedure outlines the general requirements of the USDA ISO/IEC Program. These requirements must be met by the certification body to be recognized as competent and reliable. Adherence to the USDA ISO/IEC Program ensures that the certification body operates a third-party certification system in a consistent and reliable manner. 

The USDA ISO/IEC 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). (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/IEC Program.)
Certification agencies that wish to participate in the USDA ISO/IEC Programs must submit a completed QAD 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/IEC Programs.

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