APM Group, the Cloud Industry Forum’s (CIF) independent certification partner, has launched an updated version of the CIF Code of Practice, integrating ISO certifications for the first time.

The Code of Practice (CoP) aims to standardise enterprises offering cloud services to provide clarity, transparency and assurance to end users seeking to migrate to the cloud. It first launched in 2010, following an extensive period of public consultation and piloting.

Certification allows cloud service providers to publicly demonstrate that they are serious about delivering quality services and products to their customers, and provides a kitemark for end users to ensure that the service provider meets the recommended minimum requirements.

The update allows organisations applying for the CIF CoP self-certification to use existing certifications awarded by third-parties in place of management system documentation. These include ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 27001 amongst others. CIF said that all of these certifications align with the operational and capability requirements of the CIF CoP.

The APM Group also offers assistance to cloud providers throughout the certification process. It has been working to clarify documentation to help applicants better understand what the full self-certification process involves and what they should expect.

“The Cloud market is clearly in need of credible and certifiable Code of Practice that provides cloud service providers with a benchmark for their services and a tool to demonstrate their compliance with best practice,” said Richard Pharro, CEO of APM Group.

“The problem is that for many cloud service providers certification can seem like a formidable and arduous process. By updating the Code of Practice, and integrating existing ISO certifications, we hope to make this process as efficient as possible.”

Recent research by CIF revealed that 78% of organisations currently using, or planning to use, cloud services see value in working with a provider that has signed up to an industry Code of Practice.