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What does it mean to have an ISO certification?

Many people who are looking for an ISO Certification ponder on the idea of “What does it mean to have an ISO certification?”

Contrary to popular belief, I will cut to the chase, and say that it does not mean that the company offers a high-quality product or service.

Management Systems

Before going any further, let’s take a step back to truly understand what it means to get ISO Certified. There are multiple ISO Certifications that you can get certified against. Choosing which ISO Standard Certification is best for your business is an internal decision.

What does it mean to have an ISO certification
What does it mean to have an ISO certification? It means having focus on what needs to be improved to achieve better customer satisfaction results

As a basis, any company implementing a management system would be better off by first starting with implementing ISO 9001, as that is the foundation on how the business works. By mapping out the processes that are needed to deliver the product or service to the client, you are effectively outlining all the important activities within the company.

Then, we will evaluate the impact of these processes on the environment (ISO14001), health and safety (ISO45001), risks within information security management (ISO27001) etc.

Foundation for Improvement

As a mechanical engineer, Luke Desira can confirm that after graduating from University he learnt about how many things he doesn’t know. Before starting the course, there were so many things I didn’t know that I didn’t know. By the time we were ready, we had barely touched the surface of all the topics relating to engineering, which opened my eyes to the level of details and complexity that I still had to learn to become the best at my trade.

I decided to specialise in business processes and to become an ISO Consultant in Malta as I was always fascinated by how small changes can drive big improvements with the management system. But I digress.

So, what does it mean to have an ISO certification?

Having an ISO Certification with the current standard means that you will have a clear understanding of the level of quality that you are providing to your customers. You will also know what elements are positively, and negatively affecting the quality of your product or service. Specifically, you will have better visibility on:

  • how effectively your key processes are running (sales, purchasing, design and development, and operations)
  • the effectiveness of the equipment that is needed to deliver your product to your client (ensuring reliability)
  • the skills that are required for each job title within your organisation chart, to help you make sure that each person within your company is adequately trained
  • the quality of product and service that each of your suppliers is giving you, enabling you to make informed decisions on which suppliers to keep, and which are the ones to replace.
  • the risks and opportunities from all the interested parties, that are affected by your internal and external issues. This will guide you to take the appropriate measures to mitigate the risks and seize the opportunities
  • the organizational knowledge that you have within your company, helping you to make this information available to any of the employees who need it
  • what customers think of the quality of your products and services, by helping you to implement a structured way to collect feedback from your customers
  • the quality objectives of your company, whereby through the quality policy, all employees will know the vision of the company, helping you to align the efforts of all employees to strive to achieve the same ideal
  • the source and status of complaints (internal, customer and suppliers), helping you to have a basis for identifying areas for improvement
  • the documents that are used within the management system, enabling your employees to use only approved versions, and discard the superseded versions
  • the status of the improvement of the company through management reviews – which are regular meetings aimed at discussing the drive towards improvement action items within the company
  • the above activities through an internal audit – whereby we will evaluate that the processes are running as agreed and to mitigate any deviations from what is expected

The cost to get ISO 9001 Certification is relatively low, considering the long-term benefits that you will be getting after going through the process to get ISO 9001 Certified.

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