All you need to know about getting ISO 9001:2015 certified

All you need to know about getting ISO 9001:2015 certified

All you need to know about getting ISO 9001:2015 certified

The ISO 9001:2015 standard is perhaps one of the most well-known standards. This standard will come up when organizations talk about quality management systems. So what does it mean, and what does it do for you? Let us explore

ISO 9001:2015

The number after the ISO is the identifier of the standard. The number after the colon is the year that standard was reviewed. The ISO 9001:2015 is an international standard for Quality Management Systems. ( QMS)

How can an organization get ISO 9001 certified?

The first step toward certification is when an organization decides to use ISO 9001:2015 as the basis of its Quality Management System. After the decision is made, the company will need to implement all the standards required and submit themselves for an audit by an ISO certification body.

Will the QMS of the company need to be certified?

Yes. The organization must establish, implement, maintain and continually improve the Quality Management System for a given period. During this time, the company employees must conduct at least one internal audit and one management review of the whole system. Once this is done, auditors from a certification body will access the system against ISO 9001 requirements. If the system meets the standard, an ISO 9001 certificate will be issued, showing that the organization’s QMS is acceptable.

What is a QMS audit?

A quality management system audit involves a systemic review of what is done for each process compared to the required standard. It also looks at the efficiency and effectiveness of the system. There are three types of QMS audits, namely:

  • A first-party audit where the company hires auditors to query its processes. Also called an internal audit.
  • Second-party audit where a company hires auditors to audit suppliers.
  • Third-party audit where the company hires an external auditor to audit its QMS for ISO 9001:2015 certification.

ISO 9001:2015 certification for individuals

A person cannot become QMS certified, but they can become certified as a Lead Auditor through training. All they need to do is:

  • Take ISO 9001:2015 Lead Auditors’s training.
  • Pass the applicable exam.

Other types of training include:

  • ISO 9001 Implementer s training
  • ISO 9001  Internal Quality Auditor training (IQA)

An individual with the 9001 lead auditor certificate can be hired by a certification body to audit an organization for ISO 9001:2015 conformance on their behalf.

How long does it take to be certified?

The length of time for certification can vary because of the size of an organization. A larger organization with more processes may take a longer time to get certified than a much smaller one. The certification body may also require an organization to use the QMS they have developed for a period of not less than three months, making the road to certification longer.


Whichever route you choose to take for ISO certification, remember that it is an ongoing process. Your QMS will need to be up to date, even after certification.

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