Guide on How to Get Your Company Accredited with ISO Standards
ISO certification is like a seal of approval declaring that a company’s management system, processes, services, and products meet all the requirements for standardization. There are thousands of certifications that exist for different industries, addressing different management systems or processes. ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is a non-governmental organization with independent authority working at the global level. They bring the ISO standards after thorough research that provide regulations and support to companies for facing businesses challenges. If you want to know how to get your company accredited with one of the ISO standards, here we are going to provide you with an extensive guide for that. But, before we start with the guide, you should first understand why your business needs accreditation to an ISO standard.
Why a Business Should Get an ISO Standard Certification
An ISO certification helps a business to show its stakeholders starting from customers to trade partners and creditors that they have well-structured management procedures and is hence able to grow. With thousands of standards present, finding the right one needed for your business at this moment can be challenging. It is generally recommended to start with ISO 9001 which is for the Quality Management System (QMS). It is the most integral standard for any business that focuses on improving customer satisfaction and ensuring continual improvement in the quality of output. Since all other standards are based on this, achieving it first would also prepare your business for other standards.
Based on the objectives and challenges in your business, the other standards that might be useful are
• ISO 14001 which focuses on reducing environmental impacts
• ISO 45001 which helps to protect safety and health of workers
• ISO 27001 which protects data or information from theft or privacy breaches
• ISO 20000 which focuses on IT services management systems, and many more.
To determine which standard or standards are required in your particular business, you should discuss your management goals and challenges with a reliable ISO certification consultancy.
Since you know understand why and when you need an ISO accreditation let’s provide you with the guide to get that in a seamless way.
Guide to Get Your Businesses Accredited with an ISO Standard
There are basically 4 key steps involved in getting your company accredited with the desired standard.
1. Developing and Documenting the Management System
To develop a management system appropriately in line with the ISO standard’s requirements, you need to initially understand where your company’s present management system stands with regard to the standard. This is also called gap assessment, which your chosen consultancy can conduct for you. After the assessment, they can provide you with recommendations regarding what should be improved in the present system to make it compliant with the standard’s requirements.
In addition to their recommendations, you also need to consider to develop the management system is its core objectives and inputs/roles of employees from different departments of your company.
After you have figured out how to develop the management system, it is time to document every aspect. You need to document every activity and procedure of the system to provide employees with clear elaboration of their roles. After completion of the documentation, you should make sure to get them reviewed and corrected (if needed anywhere) by your consulting partner before making them accessible to your employees.
2. Implementing the Management System
Following the documented procedures, draw up a concrete plan for implementing the management system and integrating it into your core operations as seamlessly as possible. The process can take up to few weeks depending on the vastness of your business operations and how well the employees are acquainted with the system. There are few ground principles that you must remember for successful implementation including:
• Ensuring that every procedure is executed as explained in the documentation
• Ensuring employees are provided in-house training to perform their respective roles or tasks
• Creating a proper and responsive reporting system that would cover everything, i.e., inspection, audits, corrective actions, management review meetings, success metrics, performance indicators, and so on
• Monitoring the effectiveness of the management system over time with measurable parameters to identify areas of improvements
• Ensuring continual improvement of the management system by implementing new actions or procedures
3. Verifying the ISO Compliance of the Management System
To verify that your management system complies with the regulatory requirements of the chosen ISO standard, you need to conduct an internal audit. Even though it is called internal audit, it is advised to get it done by the expert auditing team of the consultancy instead of your own staff. They are professionals and can do an impartial evaluation of your system. They will give an objective review and report the strong points as well as shortcomings of the management system.
The report of internal audit will also state the compliance level of your management system against the ISO standard. Based on the audit findings, you should then take corrective actions to make sure all requirements are met.
4. Registering and Certification
The final step of getting certified is perhaps the easiest. You need to select an appropriate certification body and register for the achievable certification with them. You also have to submit all the documented records of your management system for review. They will ensure everything is in accordance with the applicable standard. After they are assured of the documentation, they will visit your organization to further audit and check the procedures of your management system for its actual compliance. When the external auditors from the body confirm that the system satisfies every requirement of the standard and it is implemented effectively in your organization, they grant the certification.
If you are new to the ISO standards and do not know how to get your company accredited with one, follow these simple and organized steps! Many do worry about the costs of getting ISO certified since the stages are demanding and require resources, staff training, and extensive document control. To keep your costs within an affordable range, we suggest implementing one standard at a time.
The costs of certification vary with the size of organizations as well as the maturity of your present management system and procedures. However, to get your costs preferential, contact our team at Compliancehelp Consulting LLC. We offer customized services to businesses depending on your certification needs and so can make your accreditation process as cost-effective as possible. Feel free to contact us!