04 Nov If you are selecting an ISO9001:2015 consultant. You need to read our 5 step guide.
ISO 9001 Quality Certificate
ISO process in 5 steps
The requirement for Quality ISO 9001:2015 Accreditation to be gained for organisations within the UAE, is strengthening. This is now being included within tender documents, and is a requirement to work with some Government agencies.
As demand increases, so do companies’ offering ISO quality services. We have recently learnt of a particular service being offered. An ISO9001:2015 Certificate for “branding purposes only”.
An ISO9001 certificate for “branding purposes” does not exist. We were told by one such company offering this package, that they will provide us with a few processes, that are not based on your business operational activities. We will be guaranteed an ISO certificate, without any implementation.
When asked what the purpose of the certificate was. We were told “that we could display the certificate on the wall, website and in our tender documents to advertise that we are ISO accredited”.
You might opt for this service unknowingly, as you may not be unclear about what is involved in the ISO process and how it is administered. The decision to choose a provider is often driven by the attractive price and the short timelines.
These practices not only discredits the value of the ISO accreditation. It provides no value to your business. As soon as a project starts, it will be immediately be obvious that there are a lack of procedures .. even if you display a certificate on the wall.
To help you to navigate around these issues, and to choose an ISO consultant. Here is our 5 step guide. You will be armed with the necessary knowledge to safely choose an ISO provider that will help you to improve your business.
The first step in your ISO9001:2015 journey, is to establish your company procedures whether written or digitalized. These procedures need to match the business processes and operations. They also need to be implemented throughout your business.
You should ensure that all employees have been trained on the requirements and that they are proactively using the system, daily. They will be generating reports and records, from your business activities. This enables you to measure your performance and to assess that company objectives and targets are being met, in line with your established requirements and have the records for the ISO.
In this step it is time to select an ISO provider to work with you so that you can apply for the ISO certificate. First find out if the ISO consultant is Accredited.
The accreditation is either by the IAF (International Accreditation Forum). Or if they are accredited by themselves and not through the IAF, that they belong to a recognised organisation.
We have listed a few below that are professionally accredited. Please do your research first.
Accredited organisations have a search facility on their website in most cases. This is where you can check a company name to find out if they are listed and registered.
This is very useful. On many of these accreditation bodies websites are also listed fraudulent companies pretending to have been accredited, so that you can avoid them.
The following are recognizable accredited organisations.
American National Standards Institute – American Society for Quality National Accreditation Board LLC
United Kingdom Accreditation Services
Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand
American Society for Quality
Assess the requirements of the ISO and make any necessary adjustments to your current Quality Management System, to include the principles of ISO9001:2015.
You can do this through a gap analysis, (if you are aware of the requirements). Or you can arrange a pre-audit gap analysis, with your chosen ISO Assessor, and they will be able to do the gap analysis for you.
They will compare your current quality management system, with the requirements of ISO standard. This will identify any areas that need more work, before the formal assessment takes place.
Now you can apply for the ISO certificate. The ISO Assessor will carry out a Formal audit of your company system. This is based on the requirements of the ISO. They will let you know of any deficiencies in your current system for you to correct.
Please note that ISO9001:2015 does not cover all parts of your company system. For example, Accounting and FSA requirements. Although you need to have clear company and FSA processes in place, it is not covered by the ISO audit.
There is often confusion, with some believing that the ISO procedures will take care of all of their business operations, however this is not the case.
Once you have corrected any deficiencies from the audit and your quality system meets the requirements. You will be awarded with the ISO9001:2015 certificate valid for 3 years. During this period you will be required to have an compliance audit to ensure you are working to the procedures.
Timescales can be short if you already have a quality management system, up and running. Also if your team is already actively administering the requirements effectively.
You will need to be able to demonstrate, with evidence, that you are operating an effective management system. This means that you need to run your system for a period, prior to the audit. It is not something that can be achieved within a couple of weeks.
If you do not already have any company written procedures in place and implemented. The timescales will be longer and the process can take several months.
This is why we suggest that you avoid any company that is offering to provide you with procedures and an ISO certificate, almost at the same time.
The process is quite simple and can be effective, if you choose the right consultant at the outset.
The benefits of a genuine ISO certificate are many, and it is a valuable accreditation to hold. We highlight just a few of the benefits below, so you can continue your journey towards ISO.
Customer Expectations – Helps you to improve delivery of products and services, resulting in increased customer satisfaction and repeat business.
Compliance – Provides confidence to interest parties that your organisation are able to comply with relevant regulations and compliance obligations. This reduces your risk of incurring fines and claims and protects your reputation.
Continuous Improvement – ensures your organisation is continuously improving. As a result you will increase organisational efficiency, reduce waste and costs and increase your profit.
Reputation – As we commented above, with a fully implemented system, ISO adds value to your business. It enables you to win more customers, increase trust and confidence with your customers, and improved customer service and engagement.
We hope you enjoyed this post, please free to share it. We wish you all the best in your ISO9001 journey.