What Is An ISO 9001 Certification And When Could You Need It?

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Quality Management

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is the independent, non-governmental body that develops and publishes ISO certification standards. They are created by top experts in their subject matter who help to provide innovative solutions to improve and resolve some of the most challenging aspects within their sector.

There are a lot of different standards but some of the best and most widely used include those that cover;

  • Quality management
  • Health and safety
  • Environmental management
  • Energy management
  • Food safety
  • IT Security

What Is ISO 9001?

ISO 9001 is the internationally recognised standard which specifies requirements for a Quality Management System or QMS. It helps businesses of all sizes and scope across numerous industries to demonstrate their ability to consistently deliver goods or services that meet regulatory requirements as well as customer expectations and the strive for continuous improvement.

The goal of ISO 9001 isn’t for organisations to have to completely start from scratch and upend their existing way of working but to help provide manageable, effective and strategic changes that will greatly improve the QMS and deliver new opportunities.

ISO 9001 is the most recognised ISO standard and one of the most widely used management tools around the world. It is designed to help organisations to put in place the framework they need to build a robust QMS system that will not only define who should be doing what but why, when and how.

The standard ISO 9001 is based around 7 quality management principles which are;

1 – Customer focus

2 – Leadership

3 – Engagement of people

4 – Process approach

5 – Improvement

6 – Evidence-based decision making

7 – Relationship management

With the clear quality management principles in place which centre around a strong customer focus, the standards of ISO 9001 put in place the strategies and framework needed to efficiently streamline processes, drive for continuous improvement and motivate top level management.

What Are The Benefits Of ISO 9001 Certification?

Whilst ISO 9001 is not mandatory for all companies, it can be an extremely worthwhile investment and there are an increasing number of sectors or industries that now require it in order to do business with them. With certification can come a number of advantages that make achieving ISO 9001 certification beneficial for your business, employees, shareholders and customers.

Some of the benefits of ISO 9001 Certification include:

  • Business procedures and central processes are developed, streamlined and improved
  • Improved efficiency throughout the business
  • Increased revenue
  • Reduced costs and lower overheads
  • Ability to bid for and win more new business contracts
  • Higher levels of customer satisfaction
  • Provides consistency across the delivery of the product or service
  • Improved relationships with suppliers
  • Works to constantly drive forward, progress and improve the business
  • Creates a stronger, more robust, sustainable business
  • Better morale amongst employees at all levels
  • Refines management practices
  • A heightened status in the industry
  • An advantage over competitors that are non-certified
  • Lower insurance premiums

When You Might Need ISO 9001 Certification

Almost any organisation of any size could benefit from achieving ISO 9001 accreditation but if you are still undecided as to whether it is worthwhile then take a look at just some of the ways that it can help to develop, improve and enhance your business.

  • ISO 9001 certification proves to existing and potential customers that your organisation meets the requirements of the standard and is a clear way to demonstrate your commitment to quality.
  • The chances of successfully securing new business contracts is more likely with ISO certification as it is an internationally recognised hallmark of excellence. This signals to everyone that your business is reliable and that the goods or services you provide meet the highest industry standards
  • A certified ISO 9001 QMS ensures clear communication structures, processes, tasks and responsibilities throughout the entire organisation which not only helps to encourage and increase the involvement of employees but improves the working atmosphere.
  • ISO 9001 supports the effective management of your business by helping to put in place procedures and processes that result in more consistently high levels of performance, customer satisfaction and staff motivation.
  • Having certification can help you to access new markets that have previously been out of reach.
  • ISO 9001 certification provides both upstream and downstream customers with much needed verification of the businesses quality, control, and information management.

The standards of ISO 9001 encourage innovation with performance evaluations and self-governance components that deliver enhanced value for stakeholders.

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