ISO 9001 is an international standard that defines a quality management system (QMS). It defines various standards and criteria to help define quality management principles, such as focusing attention on the customer, optimizing leadership within the organization, improving internal processes and general methods for continuous improvement.
Let’s take a look at how to get ISO 9001 certification.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international standard-setting organization based in Geneva. It is made up of representatives from many different standard-setting organizations, including commercial, industrial, and proprietary.
It is the organization that defines and implements all these standards.
The ISO doesn’t actually certify anything. Third-party organizations are responsible for all certifications.
The standard’s identifier is indicated by the number following ISO. ISO 9001, one of the most well-known ISO Standards, is the defining standard for quality management systems.
ISO 9001 is part the larger ISO 9000 family. All ISO 9000 standards refer to quality management.
This standard is intended to allow organizations to be more efficient and better meet their customers’ needs.
ISO 9001 is certified for at least 1 million organizations and companies in 170+ countries.
The only standard within the 9000 family that is certified to ISO 9001 is also available. It is not mandatory to obtain certification. Organizations can implement the principles of ISO 9001 informally without being certified.
Technically, certification is only for organizations. Individuals can be certified as Lead Auditors or Registrars to audit organizations.
The certification will typically cover the whole organization with a focus on certain facilities or departments that are designed to improve performance.
Here is a quick overview of the most important information regarding the ISO 9001 standard.
ISO 9001 is an international standard that defines quality management systems (QMS).
ISO 9001 is part the larger ISO 9000 family.
Only ISO 9001 can be certified. There is no ISO Certification or ISO 9000 Certification, only ISO 9001 certification.
An individual cannot be ISO 9001 certified, but organizations or companies can.
However, individuals can become ISO 9001 Certified Lead Auditors, which allows them to audit other businesses.
It doesn’t matter how big the company is. It could be one person or 100,000.
ISO 9001 is a standard for quality management. It doesn’t matter in which industry you work.
ISO 9001 is a process-oriented standard and not a product-oriented standard. It does not define product quality, but a good process will make your product better.
What does ISO 9001 certification mean?
ISO 9001-certified organizations have implemented a quality management program that meets all requirements of the ISO 9001 standard.
The ISO 9001 certification requires that improvement areas are identified and acted upon. Organizations with ISO 9001 certification are able to be trusted that they will provide quality products and/or services.
What is a QMS and how does it work?
The ISO 9001 standard is centered on the quality management system. A quality management system, at its most basic, is a set or guidelines for standard operating procedures. These can be used to assess the “quality” and other aspects of your business.
It is a set of policies, processes and documented procedures that will help you deliver your product or service in the best possible way. It is almost like a business process management system, but with an emphasis on quality control.
Every QMS is unique and tailored to the specific needs of the company that uses it. The ISO 9001 standard, and more generally the ISO 9000 family, provides guidelines that will help you create and implement a successful QMS.
A QMS can be understood by breaking it into four key elements or stages.
Although a QMS is not enough to make you ISO 9001 certified, it is what the entire certification is based upon.
In addition to 9001, the 9000 family includes additional standards that support the implementation a quality management program.
ISO 9000 defines the principles that underpin ISO 9001.
ISO 9004 was created to increase the success rate for QMSs that 9001 defines.
Our article on quality management system provides a deeper look at the workings of QMS.
Why ISO 9001 is so important
Internationally recognized certification to ISO 9001 is a sign of quality assurance and prestige. Certification signifies that the organization has a system in place to ensure customer satisfaction and continuous improvement.
The benefits of ISO 9001 certification
ISO 9001 certification is a valuable consideration for every organization. There are many benefits. Below are the main benefits.
How ISO 9001 certification can benefit your business
Profit potential and market share increases
Reduced time through more efficient resource management
Reduced or elimination of recurring problems and anomalies
Image and credibility of brands improved
Process integration and process automation reduce manual work
Using data and evidence to support decision making improves organization efficiency and effectiveness.
ISO 9001 examines both individual processes and how they interact with each other. You can identify areas that need improvement or optimization by looking at the relationships between your business processes within the framework of a QMS.
If you are serious about achieving your business goals, it is important to use data and evidence to support your decisions. It is important to collect enough reports and adequately document your processes so that you have the data you need. This is where quality management systems excel. They provide a framework to document all business processes.
How ISO 9001 certification can benefit your customers
This gives you the assurance that your company is reliable and high-quality.
ISO 9001 places a high priority on customer satisfaction
Customers can quickly and efficiently give feedback
Pre-emptive planning ensures that problems are dealt with before they can cause any damage to your customers.
The focus on customer satisfaction is one of the key factors in the implementation of quality management system. This can be achieved by identifying customers’ needs and goals. Continuity of business is possible when customer satisfaction is improved.
Customers will be more inclined to trust you if you can demonstrate that you meet the strict standards required by ISO 9001 certification.
Your employees will benefit from ISO 9001 certification
Enhanced business performance makes it easier to secure a job.
Employees report greater job satisfaction and workplace happiness when their roles (what to and how to do it), are clearly defined and simplified.
Improved organizational structure and planning make it easier to access training, onboarding and other educational resources.
A QMS can help foster a culture of continuous improvement in your company.
Employees feel more involved and responsible for the processes that they use.
A culture of continuous improvement is a way to increase worker morale and workplace happiness. It makes workers feel that they are actively involved in the development, implementation and optimization of processes they use every day.
It makes sense, too, that those who make decisions about the design and optimization of a particular process are also the ones who actually use them every day.
You can foster a culture that is continuous improvement by bringing together your entire workforce to improve processes. This will also help align employees with the company’s goals.
How do you get ISO 9001 certified?
You will need to establish a quality control system in accordance with the latest ISO 9001 standard. Then, have it audited by a certified auditor.
This certification is usually valid for three years and then the organization must be recertified.
Although it is technically impossible for an organization to obtain ISO 9001 certifications, I have included a section explaining how individuals can become Certified Body (CB) or Registrar to conduct certification audits for organizations.
It is important to be clear that ISO 9001 does not allow organizations to just “join up”. It is a certification that must only be obtained as part of an audit process.
Implement and build a quality management program in line with the ISO 9001 standards
To assess your QMS’s compliance with the ISO 9001 standard, have it audited by a Certified Body (CB) or Registrar.
After three years, and every three years thereafter, your certificate must be recertified to ensure that you remain up to date with the standards.
As mentioned above, ISO 9001 does not constitute a personal standard and such individuals are not eligible to “get certified.” After completing a 5-day training course, they can become certified auditors.
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