The Catholic Secular Forum (CSF), a Mumbai-based community NGO, which claimed to have an International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 9001:2000 certification despite it expiring in 2010, has taken down the false claim from its website after it was warned by the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ).

A grab of the homepage of the CSF website

JAS-ANZ, the government-appointed accreditation body for Australia and New Zealand, which until recently used to provide ISO 9001:2000 certification to various organisations has now replaced ISO 9001:2000 with ISO 9001:2008. "The ISO 9001:2000 standard was superseded by ISO 9001:2008 on November 13, 2010," said Kylie Sheehan, Manager Accreditation Services, JAS-ANZ to SMD in an email interview. Until a few days ago, CSF displayed on its website that it had an ISO certification.

Sheehan further said, "We have sent the CSF a letter demanding that they stop declaring any association with JAS-ANZ. All organisations had been given two years to move to the new standard -- which the CSF did not do -- hence the withdrawal of the certificate. In the letter sent to the CSF we have indicated that they should cease declaring an association with JAS-ANZ. We will forward the matter to our legal counsel in India."

Joseph Dias, General Secretary of CSF claimed that they were not aware of the change in the certification process. Claiming that the incorrect claim that was displayed on the website for almost 10 months was an "oversight", Dias claimed, "We have applied for a fresh affiliation from JAS-ANZ. We were not aware that the procedure has changed."
In a letter from CSF to JANS-ANZ (the copy of which is with SMD), Dias wrote, "This is with reference to your email and to accept the oversight in updating the website on the JAS-ANZ which is regretted. The error has been rectified and the same has been removed from our website forthwith. The delay was due to our processing for ISO 9001:2008 certification, which should happen soon."

When this reporter informed him that an NGO could use an ISO certificate for getting funding from international and national organisations, Dias said, "We never had such an intention." Earlier too, according to media reports, Dias was accused of a fraud when he claimed to be a recipient of the 'Mother Teresa Excellence Certificate'.

What is ISO?
An ISO certification is applicable to both products and services. The accredited certification process is expected to provide confidence that the organisation has a quality management system that conforms to the applicable requirements of an ISO certificate.