This article presents the key considerations businesses should consider to achieve the ISO 9001 certification. It also explains the process through which organizations can achieve their certification.

ISO 9001 is the top quality assurance standard achieving which provides a business with real benefits; like increased customer satisfaction, process efficiency, and continual quality improvement. To achieve the ISO 9001 certification, your organization is required to meet the specified requirements of the standard. Meeting those requirements which are presented as intricate clauses is no doubt challenging for your QMS (Quality Management System). However, it assures that you have deployed the best practices for quality management and improvement.

This quality-based ISO certification is also crucial for your organization because it lays the foundation of credibility. It ensures that your processes and end products or services are purposely improved to meet the expectations of customers as well as stakeholders. Therefore, an ISO 9001 certified business proves it is trustworthy which can help it gain a competitive share in the market.

Key Considerations to Achieve the ISO 9001 Certification

ISO 9001 is achievable by any organization regardless of its size or nature of business. It is widely considered to be the invaluable QMS standard which helps organizations to improve their quality management practices and compete well in the market. Since every process of the businesses and every employee’s contribution impacts the quality, the process of achieving the certification encompasses the whole organization. It means the process must initiate the senior management and not just involve the quality management department. Furthermore, to achieve the certification, the organization must be able to demonstrate its capability to meet all the regulatory requirements of ISO 9001.

To get certified, your organization should be able to implement the QMS by adhering to the requirements that cover the following areas of your business:

• Operations and production facilities
• Employees
• Customer services
• Infrastructure
• Packaging and delivery

To make sure your organization is able to encompass the following areas of your business in the QMS, you can seek help from ISO specialists or consultants. They can guide you carefully on how to incorporate the above areas in your QMS and simultaneously make sure that all ISO regulatory requirements are met. In short, they will handle the entire task of making your business eligible for the certification.

Direct Benefits of Achieving ISO 9001 for your Business

ISO 9001 provides a goal to your organization and employees- improving quality to achieve higher customer satisfaction. However, aiming for that simultaneously helps your business to get a profound range of direct benefits.

Increase in revenue: Of course, with higher customer satisfaction, your business would be able to grow its customer base and see an increase in sales and revenue.

Higher operational efficiency: By adhering to the best industry quality management practices in all processes across your organization, you can increase the overall operational efficiency and save costs.

Informed decision-making: With a consistent management system in place, you are able to get real-time facts and information and base your vital business decisions on them.

Better employee engagement: A uniform and standard QMS fosters internal communications and ensures that every employee is well informed and is directed towards a common goal/purpose.

Better supplier relationships: Implementing a QMS also fosters best practices for managing the supply chains which simultaneously benefit the suppliers and enhance your relationships with them.

ISO 9001 Accreditation Process

When you are certain that your business has implemented a compliant QMS and is working perfectly within the guidelines of ISO 9001, it is time to get registered and apply for the certification. You need to call an accredited certification body for that. The body will be responsible for conducting an audit of your QMS and the key business areas with which it integrates. They would check to see if all the requirements of the standard are ticked off and your organization is ISO compliant in a true sense.

The audit is performed by the certification body in two consecutive stages. In the first stage, they review the documented QMS procedures and practices of your organization and ensure that everything is in accordance to the ISO requirements. In the second stage, they evaluate the implemented QMS to ensure that all practices and procedures are in line with what was documented.

On being convinced of your compliance level after the audits, they will reward you your ISO 9001 certificate.

Final Takeaway: Continual Assessment to Maintain Certification

Getting awarded with the ISO 9001 certification is not the final step. It is in fact the first step for your continual quality improvement process. The QMS should be assessed periodically so that you can discover opportunities and areas for improvements in your working procedures and practices. When continual improvement is assured across the entire organization, it helps you to further enhance the efficiency of your business and meet the growing expectations of your stakeholders.

Author's Bio: 

Damon Anderson is the owner of a reputed ISO certification agency that works to help businesses in different sectors to get certified with the relevant management system standard. He is the lead consultant for the ISO 9001 certification and guides organizations to get their QMS implemented and certified in a hassle-free way. He is a blog writer during his free time and has a knack for writing on ISO topics to help business owners.

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