The 5-step journey towards ISO certification

The 5-step journey towards ISO certification

The 5-step journey towards ISO certification

Businesses exist in a cut-throat environment. It’s a kill or get killed affair. As such, it has become necessary for companies to seek ways to gain an edge against their competitors. One effective way to achieve this is ISO certification. This can enable an organization to create a positive image when dealing with stakeholders and the community.

How can you become ISO certified?

When you decide that your business is ready to take the next step of ISO certification, you’ll need to accomplish the followings steps:

  1. Sensitization of employees- Train all the members of your organization on what ISO entails. There will be different levels of training for different levels. Departments can nominate ISO champions to be trained on implementation of chosen management system
  2. Get your documentation in order – This is the second step on your road to being ISO certified. Certification bodies will scrutinize the documentation you prepare during the review process. With this in mind, it needs to clearly outline compliance to the requirements of particular standards in terms of  defining the processes and how they are interrelated, objectives, Risks and Opportunities, define the documented information to be retained.

A good example is the ISO 9001 standard. This particular standard ensures that an organization provides an ongoing quality management process. To get the appropriate documentation for it, an organization will need to:

  • Understand the requirements – This involves reading through the Standard and understanding the processes, policy, objectives, risks and opportunities,organization’s operations in order to document the relevant documentation. These requirements may affect all areas of your business, so it is important to internalize the various documents you will need to prepare across the board.
  • Plan your approach– Here, you may want to consult with an expert in the system you intend to implement. Create a strategy that will capture your specific process in a format that your team will comprehend and follow.
  • Use simple language – Implementation of standards requires a group effort. It is essential to prepare your documentation in a way that can be understood by all your employees.

Once this process is complete, an Accredited Conformity Assessment body will review the documentation and determine whether your organization can be ISO certified.

  1. Develop a management system.

To do this, you will need first to identify the core of your business or business process. Once this is done, you will need the help of your employees to document all these processes. You can then have them approved by top management and distribute the documents to your team for implementation.

  1. Implement your management system

This is the lengthiest stage in ISO certification. It requires that the ISO requirements become part of your organization. The process involves comprehensive staff training and the creation of a comprehensive reporting system which should:

  • Outline ways of inspection and testing
  • Implement a corrective action process
  • Outline preventive action
  • Monitor objectives.
  1. Verification of system effectiveness

Carrying out a systems audit is the best way to achieve system verification. It can be conducted by the business to ensure that processes remain compliant with ISO certification. The advantage of doing this regularly allows your business to:

  • Identify new opportunities
  • Identify and remedy challenges as they arise
  • Respond to new changes in certification in good time.

From here, you will need to register your system with an appropriate auditing body that will carry out an audit and verify that the management system is established, implemented, maintained and continually improved effectively.

Following these steps will get you well on your way to becoming ISO certified, depending on the certification you choose. Always remember that it will take the effort of every member of your organization to achieve ISO certification. Get them onboard.

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