ISO 9001 Certification is Changing the Standards for Higher Education


ISO 9001 certification - Changing the Standards for Higher Education

ISO 9001 certification is changing the standards for Higher Education. 

More than 1 million organizations and companies worldwide understand the benefits of being ISO 9001 certified, and that includes a growing number of educational institutions.  The 2020 Survey shows that in the Education Sector 12,309 ISO 9001 certificates have been issued worldwide.

Standardization has an increasingly important role in the global economy and International Standards like ISO 9001 are no longer a matter of choice, but are a necessity.

What are the benefits of ISO 9001 certifications for schools?

Along with the typical benefits ISO 9001 certification brings to businesses, there are a few key advantages schools will see with this new standard. When properly implemented, schools will also see:

  • Enhanced credibility for the institution
  • Improvement of the school’s management system and processes
  • Establishment of quality criteria and methods to ensure quality of deliverables and services
  • An emphasis in schools, from a focus on the quality of the teacher toward the performance of the institution as a whole
  • The creation of quality assurance systems and performance-related mechanisms in continuing education and training
  • Compliance with school/education board and regulatory board requirements

With the ever-increasing competition among higher-learning establishments, ISO 9001 certified institutions have a step-up on their competitors.

In Italy, UNI, the Italian national standards body assembled a group including universities to support implementation of quality management systems in higher education.  The group’s scope was to develop guidelines for the implementation of ISO 9001 in universities as well as, high schools, primary and secondary schools.  Milan Politechnic in Italy was first certified to ISO 9001 in 1993 and later added ISO 17025 for its laboratories.  The university was successful in implementing a unique quality system, managed in a centralized way, but with common procedures that ensure the autonomy of the individual departments.

Across the Philippines, the state universities and colleges are encouraged to become ISO 9001 certified.  The ISO certification is evidence that processes within institutions follow a process that is recognized worldwide as a methodology for measuring and improving performance and cost saving efficiencies, maintaining regulatory compliance, and increasing customer satisfaction.

When it comes to customer satisfaction, ISO certified schools can meet the needs of their customers – comprised of students, parents, school board, administration, teachers and the tax base supporting the school district.

The role of higher education in incorporating standards into the curriculum.

ISO recognizes the fundamental contribution that educational institutions, and especially universities, can give to standardization.  Standards are also an impetus for sharing knowledge, technology and good practices.  ISO standards are increasingly recognized in education programs around the world, as countries like the U.S., U.K., China, Japan, Italy, India, and Korea are incorporating these standards into their curriculum.

Awareness and a solid understanding of standardization concepts is a prerequisite for free and international trade and for regional co-operation.  It essentially is the common language that is understood among markets and organizations worldwide.

Since standards apply to a vast majority of industries, from occupational health and safety, environmental management systems, energy management systems and many more, this means that a student’s future job is most likely going to involve an interaction of the ISO standards.

This makes a strong case for including standardization in school curriculums. Standards and conformance play a critical role in the economy, impacting more than 80% of global commodity trade. As a result, a new graduate who is familiar with the standards relevant to their industry, and how the standards system works is a knowledgeable asset to their future employer.  Such knowledge promotes technological interoperability and drives global competitiveness. 

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) created a Committee on Education in 2003 to oversee all institutional initiatives related to standards and conformity assessment education and outreach.  As U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), ANSI is tasked with developing educational activities that inspire students and introduce the importance of standards to engage and inform students of all ages. 

An e-learning portal was created by ANSI as a resource for students, academia and the public. It offers a variety of activities, courses, tools and resources.  In addition, the United States Standards Strategy (USSS) was created to guide how the U.S. develops standards and participates in the international standards-setting process.  The main goal is to encourage a standards-literate workforce, and one of the strategies is through universities, colleges and technical and trade schools incorporating the topic of standards into fields like, engineering, science, technology, data science, government, business, etc.  These students may just be setting the principles and guidelines for governments and industries to follow and set the benchmarks for quality in the future.

In order to maintain global competitiveness, The Philippines has implemented the K-12 Educational Curriculum – a 10-year pre-university cycle.   And other countries have created their own programs.

To address the global trading environment and satisfy market demands, the Korean government and Korean Standards Association created a standardization course, specifically targeting college students in the science and technology fields.  The course was designed to help students to see the big picture in global markets and to promote standardization in the private and public sectors.  “Just as ‘Education is a 100-year plan for a nation’, it is imperative that standards education is a 100-year plan for the future of national standardization.  We believe that every single step we take today will determine the future of our industries.” – Kwon Oh-jung, Director of the Standards and Design Policy Division.

SimpleQuE is a leader in ISO consultingauditing and training.  Whether you are just beginning the certification process or looking for a partner for ongoing gap analysis and internal audit assistance, simpleQuE makes the process easier and more efficient. Contact us for a consult and see the difference that simpleQuE can bring to your quality management process.

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