Who is ISO 9001 suitable for?
ISO 9001 certification is suitable for all sizes and types of organisations and is well established around the world as an invaluable Quality Management System standard. It is suitable for organisations in all industry sectors and will help your organisation to improve management processes to compete locally and/or globally.
The process encompasses the entire organisation and requires senior management buy-in, it is not just a function of the Quality Department. To achieve ISO 9001 certification your organisation needs to demonstrate that it can meet the regulatory requirements and apply the system effectively to be of real benefit to your customers.
Key considerations of ISO 9001
As an ISO 9001 certified organisation you will have implemented Quality Management System requirements for all areas of the business, including:
ISO 9001 certification & UKAS accreditation
When you are satisfied that your organisation is working within the guidelines of the Quality Management System, it is time to call in an ISO 9001 certification body. The audit can be conducted by a number of different certification bodies, however it is important to note that not all ISO 9001 auditing organisations are UKAS-accredited.
Why UKAS accreditation is important
Surprisingly, anyone can issue ISO certificates. There are no qualifications required. However, only organisations that have been accredited by UKAS can issue the ‘Crown and Tick’ badge of authenticity approved by the UK Government.
UKAS-accredited certification is therefore considered to be the gold-standard of ISO certification. As a result, it is the only certification the Government endorses as a true measure of ISO compliance.
Achieving certification to ISO 9001 is the first step of a process of continual improvement that will provide your organisation with the necessary management tools to improve working practices throughout the entire organisation.
Next steps to ISO 9001
Do it yourself
Generally, this is the cheapest option as you will build your management system using your in-house resources. Aside from the cost savings, this will also mean that you have in-house experts involved from the start and all the way through who remain involved once it is completed. However, the time taken to achieve ISO 9001 certification could be extended unless you are able to allocate dedicated resource.
This can be a great option if you’re not working to a tight deadline or cost is a major consideration.
Getting support from a third party who has expertise in ISO 9001 management systems and certification has the potential to increase the speed at which the system is developed (subject to the availability of in-house resource to provide business knowledge) and deliver better quality than doing so in-house, while not at the full cost of fully outsourcing it.
This can be a great option if you’ve got a deadline to hit, but it’s not urgent and cost isn’t too much of an issue.
Using a third party such as an ISO consultant can have a number of benefits – it significantly increases the speed at which your management system is built, it can deliver better quality than building it in-house (due to their experience of management system developments) and they can support you during your audit, thereby easing the pressures that can sometimes be felt when your systems are being assessed.
Outsourcing can therefore be a great option if you’re lacking internal resource or expertise, have a tight deadline and/or budget is not a concern.