Looking at the importance of the ISO 9001 certification, the number one certification for quality management in business, it could be assumed that getting ISO 9001 certified is a challenging process. For businesses that are new or startups, but are inclined to focus on quality and get themselves certified, it can initially seem like an unattainable project. This is because of the comprehensive structure and vast requirements specified in the ISO standard that have become seemingly impossible to comply with at once. However, the role of a professional ISO consultancy team or certification expert does a lot of favour for the businesses. From helping businesses understand the standard to guiding them through implementing a compliant management system for quality control, they greatly help in the certification process.

If you are a business owner and you are considering getting your business certified with ISO 9001, get help from professional consultants. Here is how they will help you through the 5- step certification process.

Preparation

This step is all about preparing your business for the certification, which mainly means creating a feasible quality management system or QMS that can integrate into your processes. Assuming that you have no prior knowledge about QMS, you need quality assurance consultants who will study your business processes, products or services, and quality controls. They will decide the objectives and functions of your QMS, and eventually provide training for your management representatives regarding the QMS, ISO 9001 requirements that it should comply with, and the process of ISO transition.

Documentation

Just deciding the objectives and functionalities of the QMS is not enough, you also need to formalise the system or sanction it through a manual or documentation. This is often the most difficult part for organisations if they try to do it alone. The business’s general practices, quality control measures, and the requirements of the ISO 9001 standard must be included in the documentation, which can be difficult to put together. A team of professional quality consultants, will first evaluate your practices, the proposed QMS, and the ISO requirements that it should adhere too. They will consequently create a manual. Usually, documentation consists of 7 parts, which the consultants are well aware of and can complete quickly and professionally. Quality policy, procedures, the scope for QMS, process flow, objectives, work instructions, and forms are these 7 parts.

Implementation

The next step after documentation is implementing the QMS properly into the business so that the objectives are fulfilled. The implementation process requires the business to strictly follow the documentation to ensure that no requirements are missed, and employees or departments are handling the correct parts of the QMS. They should be well trained so that they get acquainted with working with another integrated system. The consultants will help you train employees and practice the implementation.

Internal Audit

This step involves an internal inspection of your processes with QMS integration to ensure the business is prepared for ISO certification. The team of consultants always includes some trained auditors among them to help you in this step. They will thoroughly review all your operations, check work process details with department heads, and evaluate whether the business is complying with the standard requirements.

Certification

The last step involves achieving ISO 9001 certification from an authentic ISO certification body. While many 3rd party agencies will claim that they provide certification, you need to find the one that has an official association with ISO. The consultants will assist you in contacting an official ISO certification body.

ISO certifications have become the ‘need of the hour’ for businesses that emphasise consistent improvements and providing complete satisfaction to the customers. However, the difficult, time-consuming procedure of certification prevents many from gaining certification. However, the above 5-step process is planned and practiced by professional quality consultants, and will ensure that you complete your certification soon and with the lowest costs.

Author's Bio: 

Damon Anderson is a dedicated ISO 9001 consultant who is associated with a trusted ISO consulting agency in Australia. He is a guide for business owners when it comes to interpreting ISO 9001 requirements, the process of certification, and how to maintain it.

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