So what exactly is “ISO?”
The International Organization for Standardization, based in Geneva, Switzerland, publishes over 19,500 international standards that cover everything from quality management to sustainability to codes used to convey international currency types.
Standards are documents that provide requirements, specifications, guidelines or characteristics used to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are consistent and fit to their purpose. ISO’s international standards are the language of world-wide trade, creating world-class specifications for products, services and systems to ensure consistent quality, safety and efficiency. Even the name ISO is consistent – it is derived from the Greek word isos, which means equal. In every country and every language, ISO is always ISO.
ISO Certification is based on those international standards, but the International Organization for Standardization does not actually certify any organization. Rather, they identify the need, create, maintain and update standards with the help of a panel of experts within a technical committee. Actual certification is the result of an audit conducted by an external resource. The audit confirms that the system’s requirements are being satisfied, all standards are being met, and that the management system is implemented effectively.
There are several routes to ISO certification. A company can create its own documents and systems, then prepare for and manage their audit, or they can work with a specialist to provide consulting, auditing and training services to expedite the certification process. For information on choosing an ISO consultant, visit simpleQuE’s YouTube channel.
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