The ISO has developed more than 22,000 standards that serve as a reference for organizations all over the world. These standards provide consistency among companies in areas related to quality, health and safety, security, ..etc. Some companies aspire to become ISO certified and work hard for that and some prefer to stay in the same position without improving or developing. This is a strategic decision that a company choose based on its strategic objectives. Whether you would like to be an ISO certified company or not, this article will illustrate some facts that could be of your interest.
Even if you have never thought of having an ISO certificate for your company, the numerous benefits of it may convince you to get it. Proving beyond a doubt that you are committed to meeting ISO standards requirements demonstrates that you are a member of an internationally respected group “ISO certified companies” that conforms to higher standards and better quality.
Process Oriented Approach
The ISO certification process can be lengthy, taking as long as three to six months. However, advance preparation is essential to ensure a successful audit for any organization planning to apply for ISO certification. The ISO recommends a process-oriented approach “Plan, Do, Check, Act” that will be discussed in detail in this article.
In this stage you need to develop the relevant management system documents for your company and identify and document your strategic objectives and the operational and management system processes. This can be done either by choosing a team of employees that are capable and available to work on the ISO certification initiative, or by outsourcing the ISO consulting service from one of the leading ISO consultancy companies.
The ISO consulting services include analyzing the gaps which show where you comply and where you fall short based on the relevant standard requirements, and analyzing the risks of your processes and the decisions taken to mitigate or minimize these risks.
The ISO consulting services include implementing the ISO management system, training the employees on how to use the system to assure that everyone is familiar with the relevant ISO standard requirements, and ensuring that the system is working as it should by following the relevant requirements.
Monitor and check if the ISO management system is implemented and is being followed properly, and identify the required corrective actions.
Make the required corrective actions where needed to bring your company into compliance. And do not forget to document everything, from the first step through the last.
After applying the process-oriented approach “Plan, Do, Check, Act”, you can proceed by contacting an ISO certification body to be certified. Make sure to find a company that is accredited by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), otherwise your audit will not be valid. Gather your documents to provide any requested evidence to the auditor during the certification audit.
What if You Fail in The Audit?
Fortunately, there are actions you can take to remedy the situation and achieve an ISO certificate at long last. These actions include:
- Understand the reason(s) of failure
- Correct the root causes
- Modify the relevant documents
- Ensure that you are complying with the relevant ISO requirements
- Contact the ISO certification body again and provide them with updated documents
Do not hesitate to contact us to schedule your certification audit now. We are here to help you grow faster and smoother.