ISO Figures ISO Certifications on Management System Standards Such as ISO 9001


The latest ISO figures are out on ISO certifications for their range of management system standards such as “ISO 9001” :

Since the last survey (2009), total certifications increased 6.23% to a total of 1,457,912.

ISO 9001:2008 by far has the biggest representation for certifications, up from 1,064,785 in 2009 to 1,109,905 in 2010.

ISO 9001 for quality management systems is focused on organizations understanding and meeting customer requirements and improving customer satisfaction.

ISO 14001:2004 has the next highest number of certifications 250,972 (up 12%).

ISO 14001 for Environmental Management Systems provides requirements for organizations seeking to minimize their impact on the environment. If understood and implemented correctly, ISO 14001 should also decrease an organizations expenses and eventually start paying for itself.

Other management system standards represented in order of certificates issued were:

ISO/TS 16949:2009 Automotive – 43,946 certificates issued, an increase of 7%

ISO 13485:2003 Medical Devices – 18,834 certificates issued, an increase of 15%

ISO 22000:2005 Food Safety – 18,630 certificates issued, an increase of 34%

ISO/IEC 27001:2005 Information Security – 15,625 certificates issues, an increase of 21%.

USA has the 9th overall position for total certifications to ISO 9001 and is behind the likes of China, Russia, Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, and India (Come on America, you can do it!!). Obviously we have some catching up to do on the world stage.

One common misconception is that certification is a requirement of the ISO standards. However the opposite is true. ISO management system standards provide an organization with audit-able criteria for good management practices. A few examples of good management practices include:

  • a good organization should have objectives
  • a good organization should have competent employees
  • a good organization should be sure of their suppliers and purchased products meet requirements
  • a good organization should confirm compliance with requirements prior to handover to the client
  • a good organization should seek improvement (in the light of changing circumstances and non-conformance or learning opportunities).

ISO management system standards are full of these and other such good management practices that are actually common to most successful businesses. Organizations seeking to identify and implement good management practices can purchase and use these standards to help improve their business, and particularly their profitability.

Certification to ISO standards is voluntary; however certification can sometimes seem essential for business and growth. Certification provides an organization with third-party recognition of compliance management system standards.

Importantly, organizations that don’t understand the relationship between good management practices and certification tend to focus more on certification and therefore miss the point of ISO management system standards. Such a misunderstanding can be a costly miscalculation when you factor in what you could have saved had you implemented correctly and the enormous cost of implementing unnecessary and ill-conceived practices. Such a mistake can make ISO compliance seem costly and even ineffective. This is not true, ISO compliance is all about good management practice, and ineffectiveness comes from ignoring this purpose and focusing instead on cookie cutter approaches and certification.