ISO 9001 Certification Malta is a major milestone for all forward-looking businesses. That said, the first step to getting this prestigious certification is relatively daunting for business owners.
The standards has been around since 1987, and there might be misconceptions on what the actual requirements are. Many people have the wrong impression of ISO is. As part of research for a Masters of Science I had done between 2009 and 2012, I have studied various forms of management systems. And ISO 9001 has resulted to be the most effective for SMEs in Malta.
ISO 9001 Certification Malta is an ideal step forward for businesses committed to continual improvement. In 2012, I have set out on a mission to help local business to implement this prestigious standard. It is my great passion to help business implement this standard. With that in mind, I have created this page with answers to the most frequently asked questions.
FAQs for ISO 9001 Certification in Malta
ISO stands for International standardization organization. The role of this organization is to harmonize the various standardization bodies around the world to ensure that seamless standards exist throughout.
As management consultants, we are mostly interested in the ‘Management Systems’ that are issued by by ISO.
There are various ‘Management Systems’ issued by ISO, including ISO 9001 (Quality), ISO 14001 (Environment), ISO 45001 (Health & Safety), and ISO 27001 (Information Security). As can be noted, each Management System caters for different needs. Therefore, the best ISO Certification depends on your business’ needs. That said, we believe that ISO 9001 is the foundation for any other management system.
ISO 9001 is an International Standard relating to Quality Management. The standards sets out the basic principles on what must been considered when designing, and implementing a management system. Moreover, through ISO, there is a certification process, that allows companies to notify their clients, suppliers and partners of their certification. This is a regulated certification, given that the certification body (which issues the certification), passes through an accreditation process – thereby they too are checked for compliance.
According to ISO.org ISO 9001 is “a standard based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement.”
The first version of ISO 9001 was launched in 1987. Since then, the standard has been updated every 8 years. The latest update of the standard was in 2015. Therefore, the current version of the ISO 9001 standard is ISO 9001:2015. Note that the final digits in the standard name, relate to the year in which the standard was issued.
ISO 9001 can be implemented by any type of organization – irrespective of the product or service it offers. This means that the standard has not been designed in a way that tell you ‘how’ to do something, but rather advises on ‘what’ needs to be considered. Primarily, the most important requirement of certification for ISO 9001:2015 is to have a Risk Management System. This means that the company must evaluate its risks and opportunities, and that it must have system in place to mitigate and action these findings.
To apply for an ISO 9001 certification, you will need a functional Management System in place. This means that the risks relating to the internal and external issues have been defined and mitigated. You will also need to do an internal audit & management review meeting to start the process for continual improvement, which is the foundation for an effective management system.
ISO 9001 is important because it give business leaders a standard on which to base the design of the management system to implement within their companies. From my experience as an ISO 9001 consultant in Malta, I’ve noticed that successful companies would have more than 80% of the requirements within ISO 9001 already in place. This would happen as management within such organizations would start identifying the needs for such system with experience. However, the remaining 20% that’s usually not implemented relates to having a structured system for continual improvement.
The benefits relating to ISO 9001 are that it provides a guideline to set up a system for continual improvement. Most business owners are excellent at seeking what needs to be done to solve customer issues as they crop up. However, few actively implement systems to prevent issues from happening. Another benefit for ISO is that it is widely accepted by suppliers and customers alike as the leading certification to confirm that the business has a recognized management system in place – this means that an ISO certification might result in an increased appeal to the business by external stakeholders.
Efficiency is doing thing in the least time possible. Effectiveness is doing the right things in the most efficient way, which naturally is far more important than just being efficient. Now, ISO 9001 improves efficiency by providing clear instructions on how on how to deal with every circumstance within the business. Moreover, by ensuring that the resources required are constantly available (through the right training, maintenance etc.), there will be less downtime, and therefore more efficiency.
Being ISO 9001 certified means that you have been awarded an ISO Certification by an approved certification body. To get such a certification, the certification body will need to conduct an external audit, to confirm that the company meets all the requirements for an ISO 9001 compliant management system.
ISO 9001 certification is only worth it if the top management of the organization believe in having a structured quality management system. In such a case, there is a strong commitment by the leaders of the organization to ensure that the principles mentioned within the standard are actually implemented within the business – and thus their respective benefits are reaped.
To get ISO certified, you will need to have a management system in place, you’ll need to conduct an internal audit and a management review meeting. Subsequently, you will need to speak with a certification body who will do Stage 1 Audit – desk audit to evaluate that the required documentation is in place. And a Stage 2 Audit – an audit at your offices (similar to what you’d do in an Internal Audit).
The time it takes to get ISO 9001 certified, depends from one organization to the other. For an organization employing around 10 people, with committed management, the process should take less than 6 months.
Hiring an ISO 9001 consultant is highly recommended. This is because an external consultant, with experience on implementing management system will make sure you will not create a bureaucratic system (to try to cater for all the requirements). Therefore, the cost to get ISO 9001 certification would be around €5,000.
ISO accreditation, or as it more commonly known, ISO Certification, is when you are audited by a certification body (after the work by the consultant has been completed and the management system has been successfully implemented). The cost of certification bodies depend on the number of people within the organization. For a company employing less than 10 people, the cost for ISO accreditation is around €1,000.
Immediately after successfully passing through an external audit, you will be granted an ISO certificate. The duration of such a certificate would be written on the certificate itself. An a certificate for ISO accreditation lasts for 3 years, and will then need to be replaced with a new version.
Accredited certification bodies. Companies seeking to get an ISO 9001 Certification Malta have quite a few options for local and international certification bodies.
I honestly hope that the information above is useful to your current needs. If you have any further questions that remain unanswered after reading the above FAQs, or after going through the rest of pages within this website.
Having said that, if you are seeking ISO 9001 Certification Malta and would like to get a quote for ISO certification, feel free to get in touch.