How to get ISO Certified?
ISO Certification to an organization for a process or system is the result of successful assessment and audit by independent certification partner. ISO Certification provides evidence to the clients and stake holders that a process or system of the organization is compliance with international or national standards (Ex. ISO). It provides better business performance in terms of profitability, sustainability and growth.
The certification process will vary slightly for different services, such as certification of management systems or products.
How to get ready for ISO Certification?
Once the organization decided to go for ISO Certification o Management system or processes, there are several things to be considered. Here are the some proven invaluable points for the companies seeking certification.
What steps should I follow?
Below you will find 10 general steps that will take you down the road to certification:
Obtain and read a copy of the standard to familiarize yourself with the requirements, and decide if certification/registration to this standard makes good sense for your organization.
There is a large amount of published information available that is designed to assist you in understanding and implementing a standard. Note also that for some standards there are guidelines developed for how to implement the requirements within an organization (e.g. ISO/TS 9002 for ISO 9001 and ISO 14004 for ISO 14001). Use some time to investigate what is available and identify which could be of support for your implementation process.
The adoption of a management system needs to be the strategic decision of the whole organization. It is vital that your senior management is involved in the decision and creation process. They decide the business strategy that an efficient management system should support. In addition, you need a dedicated team to develop and implement your management system.
Your team members responsible for implementing and maintaining the management system(s) will need to know the full details of the applicable standard(s). There is a wide range of courses, workshops, and seminars available designed to meet these needs.
Independent consultants will be able to advise you of a workable, realistic, and cost-effective strategy plan for implementation.
Decide an appropriate platform for you management system documentation (e.g. specific software, process-map based, sharepoint-based). The right platform is important to ensure effective management, communication and implementation of your management system. Your management system should describe the policies and operations of your company. The documentation includes relevant processes and other documented information needed to support you in meeting your intended outcomes and the requirements of the applicable standard.
An important step in establishing your management system is to determine the needed processes and their interactions in accordance with your policies, strategy and objectives. These processes should cover areas such as:
Communication and training is key to a successful implementation. During the implementation phase, your organization will be working according to the established processes and connected criteria to document and demonstrate the effectiveness of the management system.
you can choose to have a preliminary evaluation of the implementation of your management system by a certification body/registrar. The purpose is to identify areas of non-conformance or weaknesses and allow you to correct these areas before you begin the accredited certification process. Receiving a non-conformance means that a particular area of your management systems is not compliant with the requirements of the standard.
Your business relationship with the certification body/registrar will exist for many years, as your certification has to be maintained. To have an efficient management system, continual improvement is key.