ISO Certification is a seal of approval from a 3rd party body that a company runs to one of the internationally recognised ISO management systems. The certification can be used to tender for business as a proof of a company’s credibility but also to install confidence in the potential client that you will keep your promises.
An ISO certification is not a license that permits an activity. It merely certifies that a management system, manufacturing process, service or documentation procedure has all the requirements for standardization and quality assurance.
The specific requirements and operating procedures are the responsibility of the individual business or organization. ISO standards and systems are tools that allow efficient implementation and communication, so that any organization in any country is able to conduct business with any other.
Common ISO Standards
Most ISO standards are specific to processes or products. However, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 are generic management system standards that can be applied to any organization. They are the most common ISO certifications.
ISO 9001 and 14001
ISO 9001 is a set of requirements for quality-management systems and ISO 14001 is for environmental-management systems. Neither regulates what is done or should be done by an organization but each establishes a framework for effective operation.
Certification in either ISO 9001 or ISO 14001 involves a series of internal audits and ISO audits to ensure that all procedural requirements and documentations are adhered to during everyday practices.
WHY OBTAIN ISO CERTIFICATION?
There are three main reasons why companies adopt an ISO management system:
- To increase success on public and private tenders
- To improve internal efficiency and reduce costs
- Subliminal marketing – by showing our logo on your marketing you prove to your prospective clients you are credible.
CERTIFICATION CAN BE USED TO TENDER FOR BUSINESS AS A PROOF OF A COMPANY’S CREDIBILITY BUT ALSO INSTILS CONFIDENCE IN A POTENTIAL CLIENT THAT PROMISES WILL BE KEPT.
At ISO Quality Services we specialise in delivering high quality, cost effective solutions to help your business run more effectively. Whatever processes you are looking to improve, we can provide assistance to find the standard that is the right fit for your business. Wherever you are on your ISO journey we can help through consultancy, training and provide on-going support.
Each standard supports its own benefits within every industry, however the common benefits across the certifications include: widened market potential, compliance to procurement tenders, improved efficiency and cost savings, higher level of customer service, and therefore satisfaction, and heightened staff moral and motivation. By having a recognised management standard it tells your customers that you are serious about their needs.
How long does it take to achieve ISO Certification?
We aim for a 6-8 week delivery period, but again this can vary from organisation to organisation. We will never delay the process, however we understand that things can happen that may mean you require a small delay. We will accommodate this where possible; however for those who are looking to achieve the certifications as soon as possible, we will endeavour to ensure you obtain your certification within our standard timescales.
After the quotation has been accepted and the deposit payment has been received we offer all of our clients a letter that you can send to your potential clients or include with tenders, to confirm that you have entered the process and that you will be fully certified within 6-8 weeks. This is normally sufficient to move forward with a tender process. This can then be followed up by an announcement letter stating that you have achieved the ISO certification.
WHAT IS ISO 9001 ?
ISO 9001 is a quality management system that can be integrated into any business. It is focused on ensuring the business delivers a consistent level of quality to its customers by having well defined and regularly reviewed processes and procedures. The system fully integrates within the existing business procedures and becomes part of the culture within the organisation. Eventually a business will not perform a task to conform to the ISO 9001, it will perform the task for the good of the business. The system covers eight main business principles which are:
Involvement of people
System approach to management
Factual approach to decision making
Mutually beneficial supplier relationships
WHAT IS ISO 14001 ?
ISO 14001 is an environmental management system that can be integrated into any business. The main focus of an environmental management system is to reduce costs, reuse resources and if unable to reuse, recycle as much as possible. It forces a company to be aware of and control the aspects of the business which have an environmental impact. It can highlight areas within the business that have high consumption and / or wastage therefore leading to cost savings, and in certain industries ensure the company is maintaining its legal and regulatory requirements.
As it’s nearly impossible to expect a company to be 100% environmental friendly, the system is focused on encouraging a business to either reduce the use of raw materials or if this is not possible to maintain the usage of these materials on an on-going basis. The system allows the company to set their own targets therefore allowing you to create achievable objectives without compromising the general day to day activities of the business.
When we talk about helping companies obtain ISO 9001:2015 certification, people often ask us, “Why does our company need to be ISO 9001 certified?”
ISO 9001 is the quality management system (QMS) standard and it produces numerous benefits for any company willing to go that route
Becoming ISO 9001 certified means to pass a physical ISO 9001:2015 certification audit by a registrar (a certifying agency).
1. Meet Customer Requirements
Many companies want ISO 9001 certification just to satisfy one customer requirement. The customer states that it will only do business with vendors that are certified as ISO 9001 compliant, so to get (or keep) the business they need that certification. The problem with these companies is that they’re looking for a short-term payoff. They see nothing but that one benefit — we need money — and ignore the long-term benefits, like “if we keep the customer well satisfied, they will want to come back again and again”.
They don’t embrace the concept of quality through continual improvement. They don’t understand that continued customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal of a QMS. In other words, these companies haven’t “bought into the program”. See, you may obtain a piece of paper (that ISO certificate) that claims ISO 9001 certification without seeing much actual quality or improvement. Focusing only on that one benefit — your immediate gain — without putting the customer in front will end up costing you much more in the long run. Hopefully, some of the quality management system ideas may rub off and eventually stick…but wouldn’t you rather have a plan than trust to luck?
2. Get More Revenue and Business from New Customers
Once you earn your ISO 9001 certification, you can advertise your quality certification and respond to requests for quotes (RFQ) from companies that make ISO 9001 certification a “must-have”. ISO 9001 certification can open up new markets you were virtually unable to do business with before your certification.
3. Improve Company and Product Quality
A quality management system standard is all about quality (really!) so, of course, one result of adopting a QMS should be an improved level of quality for the entire organization — every process, and every product.
4. Increase Customer Satisfaction with your Products
Quality means whatever you produce will work as your customers expect. You will meet not only their stated requirements — you will meet more of their implied requirements, too. Quality also means far fewer complaints and doing a better job of resolving those you do. If your quality management system is working correctly, you should know what your customers expect and you should be providing it, resulting in increased customer satisfaction.
5. Develop a Professional Culture and Better Employee Morale
Implementing an ISO 9001 Quality Management System can empower employees. Your QMS will provide them with clear expectations (quality objectives and job descriptions), the tools to do their job (procedures and work instructions), and prompt, actionable feedback on their performance (process metrics). The result? An improved company culture and a more professional staff!
6. Improve Efficiency, Reduce Waste, and Save Money
7. Achieve International Quality Recognition
ISO 9001 is a worldwide standard administered by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), based in Switzerland. ISO 9001 is currently in use by over one million organizations around the world! It is truly a world wide standard for quality! Obtaining ISO 9001 certification puts your company in a very select group.