Government Contracting and Certification

ISO certifications are not synonymous with business qualifications but as a Government Contractor, the Federal government often looks for credentials that reduce their risk when selecting vendors by providing a standard to measure the contractor’s ability to meet their requirements through a focus on quality assurance and control.

Ultimately, if you want to do business with the government, your organization will need to evaluate the benefits of achieving a certification as there are often implicit or explicit requirements that the government expects vendors to adhere to when they’re looking to buy goods or services.

The U.S. Federal government spends hundreds of billions of dollars on contracts with private companies and many of these purchases are made under government wide acquisition contracts, Indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts, or other large contract vehicles. Agencies appear to be moving towards points-based acquisitions in which a bidder is evaluated or scored on different categories of importance such as past performance, quality, and capabilities.

The point passed evaluation is used as a risk mitigator to select awardees that have the maturity, financial structure, and experience to respond to specific task orders. A premium is placed on quality-based certifications, such as ISO 9001, ISO 20000-1 and ISO 27001 or maturity levels against CMMI frameworks. The Army, NASA and the VA often release procurement in which ISO quality certifications are required in numerous task orders.

It’s clear that the government’s emphasis on increased quality and reduced risk has continued to strengthen. To position your company for success on upcoming IDIQs, GWACs, or RFPs, ISO certifications and CMMI appraisals can help establish your organization’s commitment to meeting requirements.

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