What we have been discussing over the course of the day are two partly separate questions. One is whether to print to a common, agreed standard (in this instance 12647-2), the other is whether to have the fact that you are printing to that standard certified by some independent body.
It is perfectly possible to do the first of these things without the second. It's not possible to do the second without the first. In the course of the day some people have argued that there are benefits to the printer and, to a greater or lesser extent, to the print buyer of working to the 12647 series regardless of whether or not you are certified, others have expressed the view that there aren't such benefits. Over and above any benefits that may exist in printing to 12647 there may also be benefits in having the fact that you are doing so certified by an outside body. In my view the benefits of external certification are largely dependent upon whether you can use it as a sales tool. In the case of the UK, at present, there is only limited scope to do so, since very few printers possess such certification and for a buyer to confine him or herself to just that pool would be very constraining. But that will not always be the case. As more printers become certified, so it will become more realistic for buying organizations to stipulate that they will only deal with certified printers. I am not saying that I think this is a good or a bad thing, something to be desired or to be abhorred. I'm simply saying that it may and probably will happen. One reason it is likely to happen is that even in its simplest form the activity of printing involves several parties - customers, designer, buyers designers, prepress, agencies, printers,... all of whom are involved, all of whom play a role and all of whom have to agree. Increasingly, however, such 'simple' print jobs are no longer the norm. The customer may be part of a much larger group with activities all over the world. The local office of the customer for whom you print is no longer the final arbiter of its corporate identity, may no longer retain the freedom to choose which ad agency it works with and may be instructed from on high as to what criteria it should adopt in selecting suppliers. You may always have had an excellent relationship with Bob in Mega Corp's UK HQ but if Bob gets an instruction from Greg VP of Corporate Identity Idiocy in Rochester telling him that in future only printers with this or that accreditation may be used, your relationship with Bob will be severely tested.
So, to sum up, I think at present there are benefits to printers and buyers in working to a common, external standard such as 12647 and that in future there will increasingly be benefits in having the fact that you do so certified independently.