3 Key Steps to Achieve Your Quality Assurance Certification
Most businesses today are achieving the top-level quality assurance certification, ISO 9001, because it gives them a competitive edge and make their products or services more credible to others. Being a standard for the quality management system (QMS), it defines the best practices that need to be implemented organization-wide to ensure the production of quality products or the delivery of efficient services.
If you are seeking to attain a quality benchmark for your organization with the ISO 9001 certification but do not know how to start, this blog is the right place for you. It explains the three key big steps needed to get your organization moving towards the ISO certification goal.
Steps to Achieve the ISO 9001 Quality Assurance Certification
Step 1: A Thorough Gap Analysis
The first step is a careful and meaningful gap analysis done by the superior quality management officials of your organization. They need to examine how well your current QMS aligns with the ISO 9001 standard’s requirements. After a thorough analysis, they can find any gaps or shortfalls in the system and consequently, get an idea of the areas or processes that need to be improved.
Following that, officials then plan and make strategies that inform and guide all members in their responsibilities to fill the gaps. This also provides your organization’s management with a set of attainable compliance goals with respect to ISO 9001.
The prerequisites of a gap analysis are:
• Development of a gap assessment document that details all the new improvements needed in the QMS
• A summary or report that tells which aspects of the system are already compliant with ISO 9001 standard
• Project plan with step-by-step measures that are needed to fill the gaps
Step 2: Preparation for a Reformed QMS
If you have an existing QMS or a set of quality controls, the ISO 9001 certification calls for improving it with best practices. In other words, you should aim to improve the compliance of your QMS and everyone in your organization should purposely work towards the end goal of certification.
To make everyone aware of your certification compliance goal, you need to start with document preparation. In the documentation, you need to detail out the procedures for improving the QMS, milestones to be achieved for ISO compliance, the timeline, and specific roles of the members in executing those procedures.
For more precise preparation, you can seek support from a third-party agency like ours. There are many quality assurance services agencies offering ISO compliance services that help organizations on the route to smooth ISO certification. At Compliancehelp Consulting LLC, we provide all the services you need, including premium consultation, gap analysis, and readiness review, to help you get prepared for your ISO 9001 certification.
Getting assistance from a professional team of ISO experts for certification preparation is also useful because it optimizes your expenses. Consultants usually charge you a based on the QMS work that needs to be done, your business’s size, and budget preferences. Thereby, you are saved from the individual costs of doing your gap assessment, documentation preparation, document reviewing, and staff training, all separately. Those professionals take responsibility of all these processes required to improve your QMS’s compliance.
Step 3: Implementation of the Improved QMS
The last step is improving all the nonconforming aspects of your QMS and then implementing the improvements back into it. At this step, your organization’s members need to act according to the plan or strategies made after the gap analysis. Implementation of changes should be done precisely in an organized way by the members or employees of your quality management team. Your management team should next review their implementation approaches and decide whether they are effective. Along with the process of implementation, you might need to provide training or induction to the employees and also conduct internal auditing to ensure fulfillment of all compliance requirements.
Once this step is completed, you are ready to apply for the ISO certification with a registrar or certification body.
Taking these essential steps is necessary to make your organization ready for the ISO 9001 quality assurance certification. They are aimed at improving your QMS to make it compliant with the ISO 9001 guidelines. It may take several months for an organization to go through these steps depending on the complexity of their QMS processes, quality management goals, and size of the business. However, going through these steps is always easier if you have professional help from specialized ISO consultants. They can guide you through the most appropriate route based on your resources, staff competency, and budget.
Whether you need help with your gap analysis, want to redevelop your management system, or want guidance in all of these steps of preparation, Compliancehelp Consulting LLC can assist you. Feel free to contact our consultants and we will help you complete your certification journey!