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ISO/IEC 17024:2003 is an International Standard which sets out criteria for an organization's certification program for individual persons.
Released by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 2003, ISO/IEC 17024 was designed to harmonize the personnel certification process worldwide. In the European Union ISO/IEC 17024 replaced EN 45013 (1989), which was published in the UK as BS 7513:1989.
The issues that ISO 17024 tackles can be summarized as
- Defining what it is you examine (the competencies)
- Knowledge, skills and personal attributes
- Examination must be independent
- Examination must be a valid test of competence
where competency is typically described as “the demonstrated ability to apply knowledge, skills and attributes”.
The ISO/IEC 17024:2012 standard was updated in July 2012.
The new version contains requirements for (Personnel Certification Bodies)/Certification Bodies for Persons in the following areas
- General Requirements for the Certification Body for Persons
- Structural Requirements for the Certification Body for Persons
- Resource Requirements for the Certification Body for Persons
- Records and Information Requirements for the Certification Body for Persons
- Certification Scheme (Development of)
- Certification Process Requirements for the Certification Body for Persons
- Management System Requirements for the Certification Body for Persons
The major changes between the 2003 version and the 2012 version is the detailed information regarding the development of the scheme for certification of persons. The 2003 version required the Certification Body to have a Scheme Committee who had overall responsibility for the development of the scheme but did not elaborate on the components that must be included in the scheme. The 2012 version has an entire clause (Clause 8) that provides detailed information regarding the components that must be included in the development and maintenance of the scheme but allows the scheme owner to be outside of the Certification Body for Persons.
Other changes include a change in reference of "Personnel Certification Body" to "Certification Body for Persons", defining of additional terms such as "validity" and "reliability", and the addition of a "principles" section that defines the foundational principles for the standard. 
Each accreditation body provides various levels of guidance around compliance and the implementation of ISO 17024.
International Accreditation Forum (IAF)
- ISO 17024 Guidance(Note: This guidance is outdated. It refers to the 2003 version of ISO/IEC 17024.)
International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
- Davies, S: "Easy reference for ISO 17024", Personnel Certification and Training, June 2007
- Gasiorowski-Denis, E: "New and improved ISO/IEC 17024 standard for personnel certification programmes", , July 24, 2012
- MacCurtain, S. and Woodley, C., "Presentation of the New Standard:ISO/IEC 17024:2012",