ISO 9001 certification for small businesses and midsize companies is always a necessity. It sets forward the globally accepted standard for managing quality systems across board for a business organization. It demonstrates the processes for establishing and implementing quality control in every level of business activity. The ISO 9001 certification could boast of a general guideline, but it is actually very specific to each business entity and should be so executed.
ISO stands for International Standards Organization. It could equally be referred to as the International Organization for Standardization. This is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies that develops international standards for business organizations. To this extent, the standard is often interchangeably referred to as the “ISO 9000”, “ISO 9001” and “ISO 9001:2015”.
Five guidelines to obtaining a standard ISO 9001 certification
Obtaining the standard ISO 9001 certification follows a set of guidelines. And it is most advisable to get it right from the beginning. You must begin by appointing an “ISO 9001 Management Representative”who must be a senior manager or quality manager in your manager. This is important because of the individual’s authority at to influence changes or implement policies within your organization.
The management representative will then be adequately trained as outlined in the ISO 9001 Complete Package.
Documents required for ISO 9001 certification
Following the preparation of appointing a management representative and getting trained via the package, the next step is perfecting documents needed for ISO 9001 certification. The following are the documents needed for the certification –
- Quality policy
- Scope of the quality management system
- Flowchart process map
- Quality objectives
- Work instructions
These documentations are not generic for general use among several organizations. They must be specific and suitable for your company alone – meaning they must be customized to reflect your company’s particular situation. But where you have problems preparing these documents, you can utilize pre-written template that will ultimately assist with your overall quality management system.
Implementation of ISO 9001 quality management system
After your ISO 9001 documentation has been perfected, the next thing is to begin implementing the quality management system across your organization. This is when you establish the criteria set forward in your documents so that company staff can begin to implement them in earnest. It will be quite easy for your employees to implement any new requirements in their work instructions because the documentation had been non-problematic.
Importance of internal audit after implementation
Following implementation of the ISO 9001 quality management manual, the next thing is to carry out internal audits to ascertain compliance. This is to ensure that employees are complying with work instructions outlined in the quality management manual and to measure effectiveness of quality control.
The internal audit can be done by the management representative or some other company staff, and it can be outsourced to an external auditor. Both the management representative or company staff must be thus trained in auditing quality control via ISO 9001:2015 before going ahead to executive such functions.
What to do to achieve ISO 9001 certification
An external or third-party ISO 9001 auditor is required to carry out the certification audio before it can be approved. As soon as you have carried out the required internal audit, you can invite the third-party ISO auditor to execute the certification audit.
The final steps required for achieving the ISO 9001:2015 certification at this stage is to carry out the following steps –
- Select a ISO 9001 registrar
- Carry out certification audit with the help of a third-party auditor
- Market and enjoy the benefits of your certification
- Maintain your certification for continued relevance
- Let the word out about what you have done
As a small and medium-sized business, it will be easy for you to achieve ISO 9001:2015 certification by obtaining the ISO 9001 Complete Package to aid your certification efforts.