1. Research the Standards
Implementing an ISO management system is not something that is decided overnight. Organizations need to know what they are implementing, thus, there needs to be an understanding of the standard and what it’s expected to be gained with its implementation. Everyone in the organization needs to have basic knowledge of the standard being implemented, the importance of implementing it, and how their actions impacts the system. It is also recommended that a group of employees understand the standard thoroughly. Top management, even though they don’t necessarily need to be experts, they need to understand the importance of allocating resources for the implementation and maintenance of the desired ISO management system. Learn more about specific standards.
2. Create a Timeframe
After understanding the requirements of the standard, organizations need to plan how these will be met. The organization needs to analyse where they are, where they want to be and which are the available resources. With this information a plan must be traced with details of the specific actions, investments and the resources needed. Another important point in the planning process is establishing reasonable timelines; implementing a management system based on any ISO standard.
3. Gain Employee and Management Support
Organizations need to ensure that employees have the right competencies and technical knowledge for implementing the specific ISO management system. Training needs to be carefully planned and executed. Human capital is one of the most important resources an organization has for successfully implementing and certifying an ISO management system. Along with training employees, ensuring participation in the implementation and certification process is essential. Organizations can invest capital in infrastructure and technology, but if people do not participate in the improvement of processes, or worst, if people reject it, all the money and time invested will be lost. People need to be included from day one in the implementation and certification process of any ISO management system.
4. Implement the Standard
The next step it to map and understanding your organizations internal processes. Once the processes are mapped the standard you are utilizing can be implemented into these processes. You may wish to engage a consultant to assist in this process, or if you have the recourses available it can be done internally.
5. Choose a Registration Company
After an organization has advanced in the implementation process, it needs to choose the right Registration Company. The chosen Registrar will accompany the organization through the entire certification process. It is essential that the certification body has knowledge and experience in the ISO standard that has been implemented and in the type of industry/field of the organization seeking certification. Look for a Registration company who is certified themselves. Find a range of Registration companies.
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.