What Are the IAF Mandatory Documents 1, 5 and 11?

Engineer in hardhat reviewing IAF MD on his phone while auditing metal in warehouse.

Who Is IAF?

The International Accreditation Forum, or IAF, is a worldwide association of accreditation bodies and other bodies interested in conformity assessment. IAF and its members work to develop a single worldwide program for conformity assessment in the fields of validation and verification, management systems, and certification of products, processes, services, and personnel.

While IAF has many roles, one key role is to eliminate the need for suppliers of products and services to be certified in multiple countries. The IAF uses a multilateral recognition arrangement (MLA) to ensure mutual recognition of accreditations provided by member accreditation bodies.

What Are Mandatory Documents?

As part its work, IAF publishes and maintains Mandatory Documents (MDs) that accreditation bodies must use when accrediting certification bodies or validation and verification bodies. The MDs assure that accreditation bodies operate their individual programs equivalently, which facilitates consistency among accreditations provided by member accreditation bodies. There are approximately 23 IAF Mandatory Documents, ranging in topics from the use of information and communication technology to the determination of audit time.

Most Utilized Management Systems MDs for Audit Time Determination

Three MDs related to audit time determination within the Management Systems certifications are IAF MD 1, 5 and 11. IAF MD 1 and MD 11 tend to apply to many programs, while IAF MD 5 is mainly related to quality management systems, environmental management systems and occupational health and safety management systems but is referenced in other schemes as well.


IAF MD 1:2023 is the IAF mandatory document for the audit and certification of a management system operated by a multi-site organization. It is used for certification of management systems of multiple site organizations that all utilize the same management system. Implementing the requirements of MD 1 provides adequate confidence that the management system is implemented effectively across all sites while ensuring that the audit is practical and economically feasible for sampling sites for the audit. MD 1 works in conjunction with MD 5.


IAF MD 5:2023 is the IAF mandatory document for the determination of audit time specifically for quality, environmental and occupational health and safety management systems. The MD outlines the calculation of audit time starting with a consideration of personnel numbers including permanent, temporary, and part-time personnel. Other factors are taken into account as required by ISO/IEC 17021-1 which contains the requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems.


IAF MD 11:2023 is the IAF mandatory document for audits of integrated management systems (IMS). IMS is a management system that incorporates requirements from two or more standards requiring audits using two or more sets of audit criteria. This MD provides requirements for planning and delivery of audits for IMS and works in conjunction with ISO/IEC 17021-1, as well.

Available Resources

ANAB offers a course on Making IAF Mandatory Documents Work for You. The course helps demystify the content of the MDs and demonstrates how the documents should be used by accreditation bodies and certification bodies. The course is geared to commercial or operational staff responsible for determining audit time and technical staff responsible for developing procedures and overseeing the implementation of the IAF MDs, as well as accreditation body assessors who conduct assessments related to QMS, EMS, and OHSMS certification schemes.

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