The National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) is the international trade association for companies providing information destruction services. Suppliers of products, equipment and services to destruction companies are also eligible for membership. NAID’s mission is to promote the information destruction industry and the standards and ethics of its member companies.

The NAID Certification Program is offered on a voluntary basis to all NAID member companies providing information destruction services. NAID members may seek certification Mobile and/orPlant-based Operations in Paper/Printed Media, Micro Media, Physical Hard drive and Non-Paper Media destruction. The NAID Certification Program establishes standards for secure data destruction process including areas in security, employee screening, operational destruction process and insurance.

The past decade has given us a plethora of examples regarding the value of information and data. Especially big-data and hyper-personalized data. This information provides an incredible amount of insight into human behavior, human patterns, and a myriad of other phenomena. However, as with every tool of this caliber, it needs to be used and managed wisely. As the past decade has also given us a series of examples on how this data can be used to manipulate the masses. Getting to the crux of the matter, whether you’re an individual or a business organization, protecting your data and information matters – which is why companies choose NAID certified companies time and time again. 

NAID is the standard setting body that provides the standards for the information destruction industry. NAID itself stands for the National Association for Information Destruction. Breaking this down further, NAID essentially publishes the policies and procedures that are recognized as best practices for the information destruction industry. 

There are a myriad of benefits to becoming NAID AAA certified, which is the certification for information destruction companies. These benefits stem from a spectrum of different aspects that becoming NAID AAA certified builds into your organization. 

Some of the benefits are internal, some of the benefits extend to the clients your company works with, and still some of these benefits are environmental and conservation-oriented. All-in-all these benefits compound on one another elevating your organization as a whole. This is a through-line across the most reputable standardization bodies that exist.

Rather than approaching systematic and organizational improvement with a bottom-up mindset, most of the standard-setting bodies approach improvement with a high-level, top-down, mindset. This allows the standard setting bodies to publish standards that can be widely implemented by a variety of organizations throughout the industry regardless of their size. 

In addition, this boosts important business metrics within your organization such as operational efficiency, operational costs related to information destruction and administration, and boosted savings as well. 

Outside of your organization, your clients and the environment see benefits as well. 


With the proper, systematic, and appropriate disposal of information often brings the need to dispose or recycle technology as well. That’s why many NAID AAA certified companies are also R2 certified or follow R2 responsible recycling practices when it comes to the destruction or recycling of technology and electronic equipment. 

This translates into a more responsible recycling and environmental protection policy within the structure of your company. 

Another aspect of the NAID AAA Certification is the quality management element. This is a factor that is largely influenced by ISO 9001, the internationally recognized standards for quality management systems. Taking inspiration from the ISO 9001 standards, the NAID AAA certification ensures and enhances the quality management practices within your information destruction company. 

This is a key for success in the information destruction industry because of the sensitivity and value that information and data carries. Mentioned at the top of the article was an allusion to some of the ways big data has been used negatively in the recent past. Thinking back to 2016, and the operation of Brexit, there was mass-manipulation happening all across the globe; and it was all powered by big-data and information mining. 

This highlights the importance of the responsible and total destruction of information when it comes to protecting companies data and information. Therefore, obtaining a NAID AAA certification shows the companies considering your services a dedication to quality, and going above and beyond the industry regulations to meet industry best-practices and deliver superb results. 

The benefits of becoming NAID AAA certified should be evident at this point. From optimizing the quality management system pertaining to the information destruction process, to boosting operational efficiency and savings, and even enhancing your organizations practices relating to sustainability. The benefits from obtaining a NAID AAA certification reach far and wide throughout your organization. 

So, what does the certification process actually look like? How long does it take? How much does it cost? Well – all of these questions have a range of answers.

As with almost any complex subject the answer depends on a variety of factors. Mainly aspects like the size of the organization, and the type of the organization and the services offered. 

The certification process normally takes anywhere from 4-8 weeks, and culminates in a regularly scheduled but randomized 3rd-party-audit in which your organization is observed with scrutiny to ensure the adherence to certification standards and industry regulations. 

After passing the initial audit, regularly scheduled random audits must occur to ensure the organization upholds their standards. 

Finally, the certification process can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $4,500, due annually, but your budget should also include room for an ISO consultant to help guide you through the process. Utilizing an ISO consultant is an excellent strategy that many companies opt for because of the myriad of expertise that an ISO consultant brings to the table. 

This is especially true in the instance that an organization is pursuing an industry level certification of one sort or another. ISO consultants have access to information and resources that make them the best resource available to walk your executive management team through the certification process, prep you for your audit, and make sure you’re meeting all of the necessary prerequisites. 



The NAID AAA certification is a certification that represents excellence, quality, and a dedication to responsible information destruction practices and policies. NAID AAA certified companies receive a reputation of trust and authority in the information destruction industry, and see a spectrum of organizational benefits that range from operational efficiency all the way to reduced costs and higher savings. 

For more information on NAID certifications, or anything related to industry standards, visit Glacier Consulting and get in touch with an expert ISO consultant today.