25 Mar The ISO 9001 Quality Management System
ISO 9001 – for those that haven’t heard of it – is an internationally renowned standard for quality management systems. It is no easy task to become certified to ISO 9001 standards, as companies seeking certification must follow the requirements rigorously. Achieving the standard is a fantastic way of broadcasting your ability to provide a top-quality service to your customer base.
Details about ISO 9001
ISO 9000 is a set of standards, but the 9001 offering is the only one that requires certification. Businesses – of course – want to be able to boast that the entire organisation from top to bottom has the certification, but the ISO 9001 Quality Management System is designed to be specifically catered to one team or department – allowing you to hone and perfect certain sectors of your business.
- Be it one person or one hundred – it doesn’t matter your size – any organisation can achieve the certification.
- Regardless of your industry sector – whether servicing or manufacturing, a government entity, or a manufacturing company – you can reap the benefits of certification. There are even other members of the ISO 9000 family that may be suited to your industry (the only difference is that you don’t get certification).
- Designed to monitor and control process; it does NOT define product quality.
- A person cannot get certified to ISO 9001. But they can become an ISO 9001 certified lead auditor after a five-day training course – meaning they can then audit other companies if they wish. This may sound counterproductive, but being an auditor will give the knowledge of quality management to take back to their own organisations.
- Look out for these exact words ‘The ISO 9001 Certification’. Scams are readily apparent when searching for the certification – there is no such thing as ISO Certification or ISO 9000 Certification.
- You can’t just join because you feel like it – there are steps that need to be followed to achieve the certification. So, let’s list those steps now.
Implementing the ISO 9001 Quality Management System
The Certification Body will audit the performance of your organisation against the latest version of the ISO 9001 Requirements. If you pass – and we don’t see why you wouldn’t – the Registrar will give you an ISO 9001 Certificate, which demonstrates that your organisation is registered to ISO 9001 for a three-year period and pushes the fact that the security of your organisation is always at the forefront of your concerns.
There are seven key areas to address in order to achieve the standard, and doing so will ensure the continual improvement of your Quality Management System. They are as follows:
- Context of the organisation.
- Performance evaluation.
Now that we have explored the certification a little, in the following article we will investigate how to achieve it in more detail.
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