The word certification is defined as Ďan authoritative statement establishing that the claims made for a particular item are justifiedí. However, in recent times the term invariably means quality management system certification. One can have several forms of certification such as product conformity certification, quality management systems certification or factory production control certification. A body that is itself accredited to perform such tasks normally carries out such certification. For instance, in the field of product conformity the certifying body would have to be accredited to EN 45011 and in the case of quality management systems accreditation to EN 45012 would be required. These accreditations are undertaken by UKAS (the United Kingdom Accreditation Service).
Some form of surveillance, to ensure that the level of performance achieved during the certification process is maintained over time, normally supports certification activity.