Four Steps to ISO Certification
Is obtaining ISO certification a goal for your company? Whether it’s ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001 or one of the other ISO standards, the process is not as daunting as it may seem. In fact, certification revolves around this 4 step ISO certification process. The ISO series is the worldwide set of standards that “provide guidance and tools for companies and organizations who want to ensure that their products and services consistently meet customer’s requirements, and that quality is consistently improved” (ISO.org). ISO 9001 (also known as ISO 9001:2015) lays the groundwork for quality management system (QMS) criteria, and many industries have developed standards that are derived from this. Our infographic is an easy-to-understand road map of the process and the steps it takes to meet each milestone.
1. Document your management system
- Identify your core or business processes.
- Develop documentation that meets your business needs. (Policy statements, objectives, manuals, work instructions, job descriptions, forms.)
- Encourage employees to help develop documents to build ownership and awareness.
- Review, approve and distribute the documents to those who need access to the information.
2. Implement your system
- Ensure procedures are being performed as documented.
- Ensure employees are trained properly for the tasks they are performing.
- Create effective reporting systems.
- Monitor the effectiveness of your processes through the use of measurable data, where possible.
- Review and take action to improve in the areas required.
3. Verify that your system is effective
- Plan internal auditing activities.
- Conduct audit and review for compliance and effectiveness. Observe processes in action, interview people and sample records.
- Identify and report strengths and weaknesses of the management system.
- Take corrective or preventive action as required.
4. Register your system
- Select the appropriate certification body for external registration.
- Submit your management system documentation for review to ensure it complies with the applicable standard.
- Prepare for review by an external auditor to confirm that the system’s requirements are being satisfied and that the management system is implemented effectively.
From program inception to registration can range from 2 to 10 months, depending on the size of your company, and if you have an existing QMS and how much it aligns with the ISO requirements . Once you have obtained certification, your organization must demonstrate, though internal follow-up audits, that the processes documented to bring your company into standards compliance are being followed.
Whether you are just beginning the certification process or looking for a partner for gap analysis and internal audit assistance, simpleQuE makes the process easier and more efficient. We have the certified consultants to support many kinds of ISO certifications, including:
- ISO 9001 (general manufacturing and service)
- ISO 14001 (environmental)
- ISO 45001 (occupational health and safety)
We also offer a Free Detailed Guide to ISO 9001 Certification which is a step-by-step guide for achieving and maintaining ISO 9001:2015 certification. The guide also provides links to additional tools, process maps, checklists and helpful articles.
Contact us for a consult and see the difference that simpleQuE can bring to your quality management process.
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