More than a million companies around the world are ISO 9001 certified. The certification is issued by the International Organization for Standards. It’s recognized in more than 170 countries as well.
What is ISO 9001 certification, though? More importantly, you want to know what it can do for your organization.
This guide will help you understand what ISO 9001 certification. It will also go over what it means for your business and your business partners.
The ISO 9000 Family
ISO 9001 is a standard that belongs to the ISO 9000 family. This group of standards was originally issued by the ISO in the late 1980s. They’ve been updated a few times since.
The ISO 9000 family focuses on quality management systems, or QMS. These guidelines help businesses meet or exceed certain basic standards.
ISO 9001 is the only one in the family that is not a set of guidelines. Rather, it’s a set of requirements. It’s also the only 9000 standard you can get certification for.
What Are the Basics of ISO 9001?
ISO 9001 lays out some basic requirements for quality management systems. These standards are international. They’re meant to help companies govern QMS in any country.
ISO 9001 helps businesses align their QMS to meet the desired results for end products. It also makes it possible to compare across businesses, and for companies to align their processes with their partners.
It’s important to note here that ISO 9001 is not limited to a particular industry. It can be used in manufacturing or service industries as easily as it can be used in consulting or government agencies.
There are a few other standards based on ISO 9001 that are industry specific.
The Principles of ISO 9001
Using ISO 9001 puts the focus on the process to get to the end result. By controlling the processes, you can assure quality of service, product, and so on.
ISO 9001 emphasizes quality management principles like continual improvement and customer focus. It also outlines effective processes, such as documentation, management of resources, and analysis of the QMS.
The ISO 9001 standard emphasizes that the right process leads to better service, consistency, and quality.
Becoming ISO 9001 Certified
How do you go about becoming ISO 9001 certified? First, remember that ISO certification is for organizations, not people or individuals.
Generally, companies seek ISO 9001 certification for the entire organization. It’s possible for just one department or facility to be certified as well.
To become certified, you’ll need to first take the steps to put the standard in place in your QMS. This can include revamping your processes to include proper documentation. It might also mean creating a plan for conducting regular internal audits.
Once you’ve implemented the standards, it’s time for a visit from the Certification Body, or Registrar. They’ll arrive at the facility you want to certify and audit your QMS. They compare this against the latest version of ISO 9001.
If you pass, you’ll be ISO 9001 certified for three years. You’ll need to be re-certified every three years if you want to maintain compliance.
What Is ISO 9001 Certification’s Importance for Business?
Your next question likely has to do with why you’d want to become certified. After all, it may seem like a lot of work to redesign your quality management system to meet an optional standard.
ISO 9001 certification is not required, but many businesses adopt it anyway. That’s because it has some major advantages.
The first is that it can help you create an effective QMS for your business. This is often something lacking in service industry businesses. Manufacturers may have a product-focused QMS, but they’ve thought less about the actual processes.
ISO 9001 can be used as a set of best practices for creating a more effective QMS. A more effective QMS has plenty of advantages.
A better QMS can save money. You may be able to reduce actual expenditures. ISO 9001 certification can also help you avoid costs, such as penalties or fines or even employee turnover.
An ISO 9001 QMS also creates continual improvement. That’s one of the focuses of the standard. This can lead to higher efficiency and lower costs over time as well.
Finally, a QMS that aligns with ISO 9001 leads to higher satisfaction with the business. Management is often more satisfied with worker productivity and the quality of work. Processes are also easier to control.
Employees appreciate a more effective QMS too. Customer satisfaction can also be improved by adopting the ISO 9001 standards. Customers know companies that meet the standard deliver better, more consistent service and products.
More Benefits of ISO 9001 Certification
Cost savings and customer satisfaction are some of the biggest and most common benefits of ISO 9001 certification. As the experts at bmb.mx note, there are a few others as well.
One of the most notable is improved risk management. This is particularly noticeable with the most recent version of the standard.
Another benefit is improved training for staff members. This can help increase their competence. In turn, it improves productivity, job satisfaction, and more.
Finally, there are benefits in brand reputation as well. When customers know they can rely on the products they’re getting, your business’s reputation will improve. Better QMS can help you ensure you’re delivering more consistently.
Improving Your Business the Smart Way
You asked, “What is ISO 9001 certification?” Now you know all about this standard and its requirements. You also understand some of the benefits it can have for your business.
Are you looking for more insights about ways to improve management or processes in your business? You’re in the right place. We have plenty of insights and in-depth articles in the archives.
With the right information in hand, you’ll be able to take your business to even greater heights. Check back often for all the latest news, trends, and tips.