What does being ISO certified mean for you and your business? To be ISO certified you must be independently audited by a certification body. Certification bodies can be UKAS or none UKAS. Whilst none UKAS can come with financial benefits, we would always recommend a UKAS certification body in the first instance. The certification body will audit you your management system, your management team, workers and and your operational records. If you are in compliance they will issue you with a certificate for applicable ISO standard.
Before you decide if going for ISO certification is right for your business, we recommend giving the below some consideration.
Why do you need to be certified
Do you feel that an ISO certificate will help your business profile amongst your customers and competitors and help you stand out? Are you being asked the same question over and over in your tenders and PQQ “Are you certified to…” Do you want to add more control to processes that have organically grown with the business? Do you want to benefit from analysis and continuous improvement?
These are all good and valid reasons to want to start the journey of ISO certification. However, your approach could be different depending on your needs.
Simply gaining an ISO certificate can be rapid and inexpensive. For example, we have implemented a none UKAS ISO 9001 quality management system into small businesses in only 2-3 days. This was in response to a client requiring a recognised management system for the purpose of obtaining an operational licence from their trade association. Alternatively, we have implemented UKAS certified fully integrated ISO management systems for clients with multiple sites.
Whatever the reason, understand why you are doing this and what you and your business need to get out of it. From this we can tailor the project to your specific needs.
Do you have the time and resources
Setting up a successful ISO management systems requires input from management and workers. This means time, and in business time costs money. We do as much of the work as possible and where we need you, we ensure we are concise and take up as little of you time as possible. Moving forward we can support you businesses ongoing certification though annual maintenance. This is a bespoke service and can include completion of your internal audit programme and management reviews.
Do you lead by example
ISO systems are built on leadership from the top management who are required to emphasise the importance of conforming to the ISO 9001 requirements. Additionally, leadership must also ensure that the management systems are achieving their intended results, and that continual improvement is driven throughout the business from the top. The standards require that top management demonstrates that it actively engages in and undertakes key management system activities. It is no longer sufficient for them to simply ensure these activities occur. This means top management must get actively involved in the operation of their management systems and contentious improvement should become embedded in routine business operations and not a separate and discrete activity. This approach is reinforced by the demise of the role of ‘management representative’ in the standard.
We will ensure your top management are aware of their roles and will assist in the preparation of the Management Review and setting company objectives.
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