Want to take your business to a level of Worldwide Recognised Quality by becoming ISO9001:2015 certified? Depending on the size and complexity of your business, getting accreditation can take anything from 6-12 months and depends on the time and commitment available to implement the Quality Management System into your business. Top Management are ultimately responsible for the system but everyone will be involved across each department. It’s a team effort and the rewards are fruitful if everyone is on board. Here are the basic steps necessary to achieve accreditation of the standard ISO9001:2015:
1. Training & knowledge Preparation
All management and employees must be made aware of the benefits of the standard ISO9001:2015 in order for its implementation to be a success. A senior member of staff must be appointed to take on the role of managing implementation of the Quality Management System into the company in compliance with ISO9001:2015. A copy of the standard should be available on-site and training made available to educate and guide all management and staff involved, in order to meet the standard criteria.
Company Documentation will need to be created to document items such as procedures, work instructions, quality objectives, process flow diagrams etc. Although not necessary by requirement to the standard ISO9001:2015 – a quality manual is an excellent tool for combining all of the Quality Management System information and an easy way to present this information to an external auditor. Standard forms must also be created and a document register to control all of the company’s documents.
The next step is to implement the Quality Management System into the company. Employees may now have to incorporate new work processes or quality checks into their routine and must be made aware of the benefits of these new processes. Be open to accepting ideas from employees to improve implementation of the procedures/processes as it is important the new Quality Management System be as practical and suitable to your business in order to improve efficiently.
4. Internal & Gap Audit
In-line with the ISO9001:2015 standard the company should have an internal member of staff trained to perform internal audits. By performing audits across the company, on all sections this will highlight any areas for concern or non-compliances. Alternatively, if the company has opted for hiring a 3rd party internal auditor this is a good time to perform a gap audit to highlight any areas that are not compliant with the new standards requirements.
Select your ISO9001:2015 Registrar (you can find on here) and apply for your certification. You will be notified about the audit date and format of audit to be undertaken, depending on your type and size of company. Certification should be obtained if the auditor can verify that your company has created a Quality Management System, compliant with ISO9001:2015 that it follows using its own documented procedures and processes. In the event of non-compliance, the auditor will with-hold certification until these items have been closed out. Certification is valid for 3 years.
To the novice quality manager, ISO jargon can be extremely overwhelming. What is an NCR? What do you mean by OFI? Are we certified or accredited? But before you go and pull out your hair, let’s take a moment to go over some of the most frequently used terms and their definitions with regards to ISO and Management System Certification.