04 Feb ISO 9001 Quality Management System
ISO 9001 is THE international standard for quality management systems. In order to be certified to the ISO 9001 standard, aspiring companies must follow the requirements set forth in the standard rigorously. The standard allows organisations to broadcast their ability to consistently provide products and services that not just meet but exceed customer and regulatory requirements.
A few details about ISO 9001
The ISO family is a large one – there are several different documents that make up the standards, but ISO 9001 is the only standard in the 9000 series that requires certification. Business owners normally want the entire organisation to be able to boast the certification – but the scope of the quality management system can be tailored specifically to improve the performance of just a particular team or department.
- It doesn’t matter your size – be it 1 person or 100,000, any can achieve the certification.
- The industry sector you are in doesn’t matter, be it servicing or manufacturing – a restaurant, government entity, or manufacturing company – the list is endless. There are other standards based upon 9001 for many industries.
- It does NOT define product quality. It is a standard designed around process which is used solely to control your processes, with the goal of achieving your end product to the desired result.
- It is an organisational standard, rather than a personal one. A person cannot get certified to ISO 9001, however they can become an ISO 9001 certified lead auditor after a five-day training course – meaning they can then audit other companies.
- Look out for scams when searching for details about the certification – there is no such thing as ISO Certification; the only real one is ISO 9001 Certification.
An organisation cannot ‘join’ ISO 9001. 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 (CB or Registrar) audits the performance of your organisation against the latest version of the ISO 9001 Requirements. Upon passing the audit, the Registrar issues your organisation with an ISO 9001 Certificate, which demonstrates that your organisation is not only registered for a three-year period but also that you take the security of your organisation seriously. You must re-certify every three years in order to maintain your status as ISO 9001 certified.
The standard requires your organisation to address seven areas in order to achieve the certification and the continual improvement of your Quality Management System. They are as follows:
- Context of the organisation.
- Performance evaluation.
Now you know a little about the certification, in the following article we will explore how to achieve it in more detail.
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