Learn About the ISO Registration Process to Prepare Your Business for a Standard

Businesses get certified to important ISO standards like ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 20000, and so on to demonstrate the efficiency of their operations and capability to deliver quality products or services. Certification also ensures that their products/services meet the mandatory regulatory requirements and so gives them a competitive advantage. Certification to ISO standards has eventually become very important for organizations to achieve; It benefitted their bottom line, clients, as well as employees.

To get a certification, your business must undergo the ISO registration process. It comes right after you perform the internal audit. The purpose of the registration is to ensure that your company follows all the rules and criteria set by the given ISO standard. The criteria of an ISO standard that you need to fulfill will typically involve the management system, business processes/operations, and documentation.

If you are heading towards ISO registration and have implemented a proper management system, keep reading learn about the steps for completing the registration procedure successfully. 

Key Steps Involved in the ISO Registration Process

These are the steps you must follow to get ISO registration for a standard that is needed for your business.

Choose a Registrar

Since finding a suitable registrar will take time, you should start looking for one from the time you start implementing the management system. Make sure you have list of criteria for your company while choosing one. The registrar should meet the requirements or eligibility conditions provided for ISO accreditation bodies. It will ensure that there is uniformity in their registration procedures.

Also, consider whether the registrar has experience in certifying organizations in your business category or industry. Other factors that should be kept in mind while selecting the registrar are fees, timeframe for the registration process, and professionalism in their services.

Complete Your ISO Application  

This is the most crucial step where you need to agree to get your business certified by the registrar by filling out an application form. It declares all the terms and obligations of two parties, confidentiality, liabilities or responsibilities, and access rights.

Document Submission and Review

Along with the application, you must provide the necessary documents of the management system, products, services, or processes that are related to your chosen ISO standard. For instance, you need to submit the quality manual and documents for the procedures of the QMS (Quality Management System) if you have applied for the ISO 9001 certification.

The registrar will review the documents carefully to confirm whether the requirements of the standard are fulfilled by your business. The registration process does not happen quickly. The reviewing will take a few weeks, approximately 2 to 4 weeks. Clearly, the time needed for reviewing depends on the size of your business and the complexity of its processes.

Pre-Assessment or Initial Review

After the review of documentation, you can do a pre-assessment of your implemented management system. Although it is not mandatory, businesses are generally recommended to do it because they can know about significant weaknesses or deficiencies in your system. Therefore, doing this initial review will help you to correct any issues in the system before the final certification audit is conducted by the registrar.

In other words, performing a pre-assessment with your management will enhance the chances of successful certification by ensuring that all non-conformances to ISO requirements are identified and addressed.

Get Ready with an Action Plan

If you have discovered any noncompliance issues or weaknesses in the management system through the pre-assessment, then prepare a plan of action to eliminate those issues. The plan should provide a list of corrective and preventive actions that you need to take to resolve issues and make your management system compliant and ready for registration.

Registration Audit

The registrar will then conduct an on-premises audit of your management system to inspect whether everything is functioning according to the requirements of the specific ISO standard. Depending on its assessment and observation, the registrar can declare two types of non-compliances in the management system – minor non-compliances and major non-compliances. 

The registration audit cannot be called complete, and you will not be able to proceed to the ISO registration step until the major issues are resolved and verified by the registrar. Therefore, it typically involves a re-audit in case of major non-compliances. However, in the case of minor non-compliances, you are required to show the corrective actions that you intend to implement to the registrar and the audit is closed.   

Obtain the Registration/Certificate of the ISO Standard

When the registrar confirms that major issues in the management system are resolved, it updates the audit report and issues the certification of the standard to your business.

After receiving the certification, you can’t just sit back and relax. To get the most benefits out of your certification, publicize it and promote it through your products and marketing channels.

Final Takeaway

The ISO registration process is not complex rather it is a detailed and time-consuming process. So, you must be careful and patient with it. However, engaging expert ISO consultants can relieve the stress of registration process for your team and help them focus on day-to-day business activities.  They will guide you in each of the steps and more importantly, during the audit. They will make sure to accelerate the procedure by speeding up documentation, auditing, and implementation of the action plan. In short, they will make sure that you complete the ISO registration in a short time by resolving all the flaws and, get a higher return on your investments.

Do you need an ISO certification for your business? We, at Compliancehelp Consulting LLC, can be your reliable partner and guide during the entire certification journey, from the implementation of a system to its auditing and certification. Get in touch!