ISO/IEC 17021:2011 contains principles and requirements for the competence, consistency and impartiality of the audit and certification of management systems of all types (e.g. quality management systems or environmental management systems) and for bodies providing these activities. Certification bodies operating to ISO/IEC 17021:2011 need not offer all types of management system certification.
Certification of management systems is a third-party conformity assessment activity. Bodies performing this activity are therefore third-party conformity assessment bodies.