A Guide to ISO 9000/9001:2015 Certification

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What is ISO 9000/9001:2015?

The ISO 9000 standards deal with the management systems used by organizations to ensure quality in the design, production, delivery, and support of products. The newest ISO 9001:2015 standard includes several important changes for quality management systems, including modifications in terminology, the introduction of new context-based clauses, emphasis on management’s role in quality, and a focus on a risk-based approach.

ISO 9000 Quality Management System Standard

ISO 9000 standards apply to all generic product categories: hardware, software, processed materials, and services. The complete set of ISO 9000 standards provides quality management guidance, quality assurance requirements, and supporting technology for an organization’s quality management system. The standards provide guidelines on what features should be present in the management system of an organization but do not outline how the features should be implemented. This means the standards have a wide applicability for various products and situations. Upon implementing ISO 9000, an organization can be registered as having a certified quality management system. To maintain its registered status, an organization must pass periodic surveillance audits by the registrar. These audits are often conducted bi-annually, with full audits performed every few years.

Key Quality Management Principles of ISO

The fundamental concepts and principles of quality management in the International Standard are applicable to the following:

  • Organizations seeking sustained success through the implementation of a quality management system
  • Customers seeking confidence in an organization’s ability to consistently provide products and services conforming to their requirements
  • Organizations seeking confidence in their supply chain that product and service requirements will be met
  • Organizations and interested parties seeking to improve communication through a common understanding of the vocabulary used in quality management
  • Organizations performing conformity assessments against the requirements of ISO 9001
  • Providers of training, assessment, or advice in quality management
  • Developers of related standards

Advantages of ISO Accreditation

The biggest advantage of ISO 9000 standards is that they help small organizations by providing the guidelines and a third party certification to enable them to demonstrate to their customers they have a quality system in place. Many organizations globally began using these standards as a “certified” standard for performance. Although their intent was important, the standards became more of an opportunity to get a certificate of compliance that could be used to impress customers.

Although widely used, they do not include all of the required elements of an enterprise system. For example, there is no emphasis on results obtained from implementing the system. This has led many organizations to wonder how good the standard is – if it does not matter whether results are attained.

The ISO 9000 standards do not include the full scope of managing for quality. They were not designed to be. However, we often hear organizations complain that ISO 9000 did not do what they expected it to do, whereas others said it was great for them. The ones that stated it did not work had an expectation that the standard alone, once implemented, would guarantee improved quality and better financial performance.

They also did not know that the standard does not include provisions for these other tasks that must happen beyond the product and service production processes.

For further information on ISO 9000, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. Alternatively, feel free to visit our blog for expert advice on how to implement better quality management and improvement processes in your organization.

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