11 Agile Steps to Get Your Business ISO Certified
ISO Certification is the most valued tool for businesses, as it helps to streamline their processes with efficient management systems to ensure quality, safety, and customer satisfaction for their products or services.
Put simply, ISO certification shows that an organization meets all the regulatory requirements of the international standard and fulfills the expectation of the stakeholders. Attaining certification will add significant value to your company by enhancing its credibility, ensuring customer satisfaction, and giving you access to market opportunities. There are many driving factors for a business to get ISO certified. However, the big question is how to get certification?
While many businesses are still not clear about how to achieve ISO certification or the processes involved in it, this blog presents the entire journey of becoming certified!
Explained below are the 11 steps that will eventually guarantee ISO certification for your organization.
Step 1: Understand Your Business Well
Start from scratch. Know your business’s context with the concerned ISO certification, and identify what is lacking in your current management system with a GAP analysis. Also, identify the members and the key resources in your organization that are related to the system.
Step 2: Do Proper Planning
You need to plan appropriately to adapt your organization and transition into complying with the ISO standard. Use effective business evaluation tools, like a SWOT analysis or risk assessment to define and establish the objectives of your business. Determine the core processes, their flow/order, and interactions to decide how they must be influenced by the modified management system.
Step 3: Figure out the Management System
Consult with quality assurance experts. With their help, map out a management system that properly aligns with your processes and business objectives. They will interpret the obligatory requirements of the ISO standard, and plan the structure and functionalities of the system accordingly.
Step 4: Develop the Management System
To develop the management system, you need to document it. Incorporate every detail of the structure and purpose of the system, while including the business processes, interested members or departments, and the performance metrics that the management system should address. At this stage, quality assurance experts will help you with the rules and procedures of documentation.
Step 5: Implementation of the Management System
After documentation, you need to ensure the management system is appropriately implemented, and the improvements are reflected by the operations in your business. For successful implementation, the cooperation and participation of interested members is essential, therefore, you may need to provide training that includes the execution of the management system, ensuring they are confident with the implementation process.
Step 6: Incorporate Effective Monitoring Tool
To check whether the modified management system is working accurately and delivering results as expected, set up a consistent monitoring and measurement process. Implement advanced tools for data collection and analysis to track the key performance metrics of your business. This will help you learn about the effectiveness of the management system.
Step 7: Decide the Certification Body
Select a recognized certification body and to conduct the certification audit.
Step 8: Conduct Internal Audits
Conducting a thorough internal audit will show whether your management system is compliant with the ISO certification requirements. Hire professional internal auditors, schedule your audits, and designate a team in your organization who will collaborate with the auditors and help to interpret any audit findings.
Step 9: Management Review
Your organization’s management team should sit together to review the new management system and audit reports. They need to find the inconsistencies in the system and non-compliance issues against ISO requirements. Subsequently, they can plan some corrective measures or action plans to address every shortcoming in the management system, making it fully compliant.
Step 10: Stage 1 Certification Audit
Here comes the last but most decisive stage of your ISO certification process. Prepare your members and help them understand the Stage 1 audit, which will be conducted by the certification body. They will review the documented management system of your business to evaluate whether it is conforming to every ISO requirement. Additionally, they may point out certain scopes for improvement your documented system.
Step 11: Stage 2 Certification Audit
The journey of ISO certification ends with the stage 2 audit, which is the immediate and related step after stage 1 audit. In this stage, the certification body will assess your ongoing modified management system and check whether it is in line with the documented system. They will also evaluate its overall compliance level to the standard and decide whether to grant ISO certification to your business. The compliance level of your management system will decide the fate of the certification.
Summing It Up!
With this list, you have learned about how to achieve ISO certification for your organization.
Your business can get ISO certified effortlessly if you follow a systematic and ordered process. Of course, there are many complexities or challenges involved in each step. However, with a trusted quality assurance services agency by your side, you can proceed through the steps and overcome the challenges they throw. Also, the last step shows that to achieve ISO certification, what your business mostly needs is a compliant management system that adheres to each requirement of the particular standard. Improving and maintaining the compliance of your management system is the key!
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