The Process of Obtaining an ISO Certification

Jan 17, 2017 | Uncategorized, Business Management

ISO certification is the next thing business owners and managers think about once they have built the required quality systems and conducted the audit. However, not all business owners know the proper steps for obtaining an ISO certification. Those who know the ISO certification process may not know if they are getting the most value from their investments. There are eight essential steps for obtaining an ISO certification.

1. Find an ISO 9001 Registrar

Begin your ISO registration process by looking for an ISO registrar. This should preferably be done during the two or three months when your company is building its quality systems. Consider searching the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board for the right registrar for your company. The registrar you choose should meet the requirements of ISO accreditation bodies.

2. Select an ISO Registrar

Choose a registrar with experience in your specific industry. There are various factors to consider when choosing a registrar including scheduling issues, comfort levels, and fees. The qualifications of the registrar you choose are an essential consideration. Registrars are required to be accredited in specific industries in order for them to certify companies in their respective sectors. Some registrars are accredited in several industries while others are accredited in only one industry.

One of the best ways to evaluate the qualifications of a registrar is to call them. Once you have evaluated the registrar’s qualifications consider the costs that come with their services including cost of surveillance, expenses, and fees. In addition, consider the overall experience you get with the registrar. Consider their interpersonal skills, office support, ability to effectively answer questions, and flexibility of the registrar in adjusting dates.

3. Create an ISO Application

Draft an agreement with your registrar. This is an essential step in the ISO registration process because it determines the rights and obligations of all relevant parties and includes access rights, confidentiality, and liability issues.

4. Conduct a Quality Document Review

One of the things that your registrar will require is a quality manual and procedures to verify that all requirements have been addressed. ISO certification can be a time consuming process. Therefore, provide your registrar with a two to four weeks allowance to allow him to fully review your company’s documents.

5. Determine Pre-assessment Needs

The two to four weeks allocated to initial review help to identify significant omissions and weaknesses. They help the company save time and allow the registrar to identify issues before the actual assessment audit.

6. Issue an ISO Assessment

During this stage, the auditors will conduct an onsite inspection and issue reports and recommendations in case they find non-comformities and areas that do not meet ISO standards.

7. Complete ISO 9001 Registration

The company can register as ISO 9001 conformant once all the findings have been put into the audit report and all non-conformities addressed.

8. Check with Surveillance Audits

Regular surveillance is required to ensure that required systems are maintained and that deficiencies are addressed. Auditors usually conduct one full and two partial audits during the three-year period of the certification.

A company’s ISO certification process begins once it has done its ISO 9001 audit. The main function of the certification is to show that the company has met all ISO standards.

Are you looking for assistance with obtaining an ISO Certification or updating your ISO Standards? Contact Ledge today for a consultation.

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