In the realm of food safety, standards play a crucial role in ensuring that products are safe for consumption and that risks are effectively managed. ISO 22000:2018 is one such standard, providing a comprehensive framework for food safety management systems (FSMS). However, not all certifications are created equal. The term “NON-IAF” refers to certifications that are not accredited by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF). This article explores the significance of ISO 22000:2018, the implications of NON-IAF certifications, and how organizations can navigate this landscape to maintain high food safety standards.

Understanding ISO 22000:2018

ISO 22000:2018 is an internationally recognized standard designed to harmonize the requirements for food safety management across the food supply chain. It integrates the principles of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) with a structured management system, ensuring that food safety hazards are identified, evaluated, and controlled at every stage of the food chain.

Key Components of ISO 22000:2018

Management Commitment: Ensuring top management is engaged and committed to the FSMS.

Food Safety Policy: Establishing a clear food safety policy and objectives.

Hazard Analysis: Identifying potential hazards and implementing control measures.

Operational Prerequisite Programs (PRPs): Establishing basic conditions and activities necessary for maintaining a hygienic environment.

Critical Control Points (CCPs): Identifying and monitoring points in the process where hazards can be prevented, eliminated, or reduced.

Documentation and Records: Keeping thorough records to demonstrate compliance and facilitate continuous improvement.

What Does NON-IAF Mean?

NON-IAF certifications refer to certificates issued by bodies that are not accredited by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF). The IAF is a global association of accreditation bodies and other organizations involved in conformity assessment. Accreditation by IAF members ensures that certification bodies operate according to internationally recognized standards.

Implications of NON-IAF Certifications

Credibility and Recognition: IAF-accredited certifications are widely recognized and respected, assuring stakeholders that the certified organization meets high standards. NON-IAF certifications may lack this level of recognition.

Market Acceptance: In many industries, particularly in international trade, IAF-accredited certifications are a prerequisite. NON-IAF certifications might not be accepted by certain buyers or regulatory bodies.

Regulatory Compliance: Some regulations and industry standards explicitly require IAF-accredited certifications. NON-IAF certificates might not fulfill these requirements.

Risk Management: The robustness and rigor of the certification process can vary significantly between IAF-accredited and NON-IAF bodies. This can impact the effectiveness of the FSMS in managing food safety risks.

The Role of NON-IAF Certifications

Despite the limitations, NON-IAF certifications can still play a role, particularly for smaller organizations or those operating in markets where IAF accreditation is not a strict requirement. They can provide a stepping stone towards more recognized certifications and help organizations improve their food safety practices.

Benefits of NON-IAF Certifications

Cost-Effective: NON-IAF certifications can be more affordable, making them accessible for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Initial Framework: They provide a structured framework for organizations to begin implementing food safety management practices.

Internal Assurance: These certifications can still offer internal assurance of food safety practices, helping organizations build a culture of food safety.

Navigating the Certification Landscape

Organizations seeking to implement ISO 22000:2018 need to carefully consider their certification options. Here are some steps to help navigate this process:

Assessing Needs and Goals

Determine Market Requirements: Identify whether your target markets or clients require IAF-accredited certifications.

Evaluate Internal Needs: Consider the level of assurance needed internally and the resources available for certification.

Choosing the Right Certification Body

Research Accreditation: Verify the accreditation status of certification bodies. Preferably, select those accredited by IAF members.

Evaluate Reputation: Assess the reputation and track record of certification bodies, even if they are NON-IAF.

Cost-Benefit Analysis: Consider the cost of certification relative to the benefits and market acceptance it provides.

Implementing ISO 22000:2018

Engage Top Management: Ensure commitment from top management to drive the implementation of the FSMS.

Develop a Food Safety Policy: Establish clear policies and objectives aligned with ISO 22000:2018 requirements.

Conduct Hazard Analysis: Identify potential hazards and implement control measures.

Train Employees: Provide training to employees on food safety practices and the importance of compliance.

Continuous Improvement: Regularly review and improve the FSMS to adapt to new challenges and opportunities.

Note: Apply for an ISO Certificate through the official portal.


ISO 22000:2018 is a vital standard for ensuring food safety across the supply chain. While NON-IAF certifications may lack the global recognition and credibility of IAF-accredited certifications, they can still offer value, particularly for smaller organizations or those in specific markets. By carefully assessing their needs and goals, organizations can choose the right certification path, implement robust food safety management practices, and ultimately ensure the safety and quality of their products. Understanding the nuances between IAF and NON-IAF certifications can help organizations make informed decisions, maintain high standards of food safety, and build trust with consumers and stakeholders alike.