The ISO9001 standard is one of the best-known quality standards in the world.
In the 21st century, the quality of a product and service is the most important thing, and it sets the right rules for their production.
Now the consumer expects not only an ordinary product but the best quality product.
ISO itself is an abbreviation of the name of the International Commission for Standardization / International Organization for Standardization.
The ISO9001 certificate has great value for its holder.
It confirms that it operates by the established principles of the quality management system. The size of the unit, business profile, type of products or services that it deals with and does not matter. It can be an international company, a small shop or a service point. Everyone can become a holder of a valued quality certificate.
To obtain it, you must ensure the ability to provide a product or service that meets the customer’s requirements, comply with legal regulations, use and develop the quality system, improve it and strive for customer satisfaction.
Having an ISO9001 certificate is not mandatory for anyone, but it opens up new opportunities for operation on the market, so it’s worth obtaining it.
Obtaining it is a challenge and requires targeted actions to undergo certification.
Obtaining a certificate gives you the chance to compete with large entities, enter new markets, acquire new contracts, and even survive in a situation of economic recession. The certificate confirms the use of modern operations by procedures of good management known and respected all over the world.
An amendment to ISO9001: 2015 Quality Management System Requirements has been in operation since September 2015.
It jointly introduced a unified structure of management system standards, terms, definitions, and titles. Risk management requirements have also appeared for the first time.
The uniform structure of standards defines:
- Normative reference
- Definition Terms
- Organization Context
- Operational activities
- Evaluation of the effects of activities
- Continuous improvement and corrective actions
The new version from 2015 requires the assignment of responsibility for the process, risk determination, process assessment, and monitoring, as well as clearly defined requirements for processes at the entry and exit, i.e. dealing with suppliers and customers.
The approach to documentation and information is now more flexible. It can come from any source or information carrier. The standard supports organizations in acquiring knowledge, sharing experience, and protection against its loss caused, for example, by the departure of an employee.
Another chapter covers the supervision of external services and products.
Always introduced changes give new opportunities and opportunities for development but also bring new threats to the life of the company. They should also be supervised and tested, just as the quality goals and process effectiveness, as well as their impact on customers, are measured.
How to get ISO 9001 certification?
The certificate itself is issued by the certification body after a control audit.
You can comply with the standard and introduce it in your company, use it to improve your performance but do not certify yourself. This is, of course, possible and allowed and even used by thousands of companies around the world. However, only formal ISO9001 certification matters and is worth getting it.
The company that issues the certificate must be accredited. In Poland, it is PCA, i.e. the Polish Center for Accreditation or other European Union countries.
The certificate is obtained for 3 years after passing a positive control, then once a year surveillance audits are carried out.
Preparation for ISO certification
You can prepare your company with internal strength, but it is a big challenge and most companies use the services of consulting companies. It looks like internal meetings with consultants are organized, what is to be done and how is discussed, employee training is carried out and documentation and procedures are prepared. It all takes time from several weeks to even many months. The consultant manages, sets out specific actions, and uses his business knowledge.
The implementation of ISO9001 is an ideal opportunity to introduce good practices in the company.
If the company is well managed, then ISO implementation will not be a great revolution.
Typically, this will require the introduction of supervision over measuring instruments and their legalization, which is not what companies without certification care about.
The certificate is a document that confirms that the company complies with the ISO9001 standard in its activities, this is not the same as a guarantee that it always is and does not apply to the product itself.
The implementation process for ISO 9001: 2015 includes:
- Organization Review
- Documenting the quality system
- Internal audit
- Management review and corrective action approach
Is it worth allocating time, doing such a great job, and spending a lot of money on obtaining ISO 9001 certification?
Often, the company is forced to get it from the client, it is a condition to participate in the tender, or to do well in the eyes of others and confirm that good practices are being applied at home and that are used all over the world.
The certificate alone will not do anything. It doesn’t entitle you to anything. It does not guarantee that we will be better than others. However, it is a valuable achievement that says a lot and can help in further development.
The certificate indicates that the organization meets the requirements set by the standard, properly manages the quality, controls indicators, takes care of documentation and customer relations, acts by legal processes and requirements set high goals and pursues them. So it stands out positively from the others and is a valuable attribute in a competitive market. With the certificate, we join an elite group of well-managed and developed entities, which increases our position and credibility.
This gives a good foundation for action, so it is worth being compliant with the ISO9001 standard
and getting a certificate.