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Conditions for Certification Bodies

Last Updated on Monday, 10 March 2014 16:51

Organisations performing professional and objective auditing of manufacturing facilities and operating product certification systems can apply for approval as GOTS certifier to the Global Organic Textile Standard International Working Group (IWG).

The IWG has developed its own accreditation system for this approval process as well as for continuous monitoring of the approved Certification Bodies, as outlined in the document “Approval Procedure and Requirements for Certification Bodies”.

The GOTS accreditation system is based upon the principles of ISO/IEC Guide 65: 1996 “General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems". It further especially references the International Requirements for Organic Certification Bodies (IROCB) as released by the International Task Force on Harmonization and Equivalence in Organic Agriculture (ITF, follow up project GOMA) convened by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Since certification according to GOTS has certain features that differ from certification of products and services covered by ISO/IEC Guide 65 (e.g. assessment of management systems such as environmental management and minimum social criteria) and IROCB (which is mainly developed for organic food products) it also includes sector- and GOTS-specific requirements.

Accreditation bodies that agree to follow the approval and monitoring procedure and the requirements as specified in the GOTS accreditation document conduct the accreditation process for GOTS. The main cooperating partner for this process is the International Organic Accreditation Service (IOAS), which specialises in organic accreditation and operates worldwide.

As a prerequisite Certification Bodies applying for approval as GOTS certifier must already have a valid accreditation to perform certification in accordance with ISO/IEC Guide 65.

Accreditation can be applied according to one of, a combination of or all of the following GOTS scopes:

  • Certification of mechanical textile processing and manufacturing operations and their products (scope 1)
  • Certification of wet processing and finishing operations and their products (scope 2)
  • Certification of trading operations and related products (scope 3)
  • Approval of textile auxiliary agents (chemical inputs) on positive lists (scope 4)

Certifiers must not certify and/or inspect according to organic textile standards of their own beginning one year after first approval as GOTS certifier on order to support the harmonisation process of GOTS. They shall cooperate with all other Approved Certifiers in a Certifiers Council in order to ensure worldwide equal application of the Global Standard and inspection and certification procedures. They must pay an Annual Fee of 30 Euro per facility inspected and/or certified and need to collect from their certified entities Licence Fees in accordance with the provisions of the 'Licensing and Labelling Guide'.

The qualification, competence and all further requirements for application and approval under the GOTS accreditation system are defined in the document “Approval Procedure and Requirements for Certification Bodies”. Certification Bodies that wish to apply must ensure that they have studied, understood and are willing to follow the 'Approval Procedure and Requirements for Certification Bodies' prior to submitting their application using the application form below.

GOTS Accreditation Document (PDF, 190 KB)

Application for GOTS Accreditation (DOC, 82 KB)