ISO certification is for many companies the ultimate goal in their business. Being recognised with a certificate for the management system you created for your company according to the rules set by a particular ISO norm makes not only for a competitive advantage, but is in general a great motivating point for everyone in the organisation. However, the process of implementing ISO and getting certified might seem daunting and impossible. To help you, here are 10 steps you should follow to get everything right and get your ISO certification.
Steps 1-5: preparation
In order to get the best out of your implementation and certification process, you need to make sure that you are certain about the norm you chose for your company, you reviewed the requirements of the standard properly, you made your goals understandable for the whole company and chose people who will be responsible for overseeing the implementation and certification process.
It is important for everyone within the company to know why you want to get certified and how are you going to achieve that. If it’s your first time dealing with ISO standards and you want to make sure everything goes to plan from the get-go, you might want to take part in an ISO training course and hire a consultant that will help you along the process, advise you if needed and help prepare for the certification.
Steps 6-10: implementation and certification
First of all, you are going to need to choose a certification body which will suit your needs best. An ISO certificate usually needs to be reinstated every three years, so most certification bodies will require a three-year contract that includes annual audits and general overview of the certification process. Next, you need to actually develop the management system. The standard is only a framework for good management practice, it’s up to you to put it into work.
After that, you will need a stage 1 audit that will review your existing management system and provide you with a gap analysis report which will identify any areas that needs improvement to meet the standard. On its’ basis, you will need to make improvements before the stage 2 audit comes around and reveal the effectiveness of your management system. If it meets all the standards, you will get your certificate. Now all that’s left is to maintain your management system, improve on it all the time and stay certified.