Probably all the entrepreneurs would have heard about ISO 9001 because this type of certificate is helpful in developing the business of the entrepreneur. That’s why every entrepreneur is curious to know whether he will also need this type of certificate for his business. If yes then how can he get ISO 9001 Certificate. It is meant to say that very few entrepreneurs know how they can get this type of certificate.
Therefore, today through this article of ours, we will talk about the current process of obtaining this type of certificate i.e., the process going on in 2019. It is necessary to write 2019 here because there are changes in the rules for obtaining this certificate, so the process which is applicable today may change tomorrow.
These changes are made from time to time to implement new standards arising out of modern technology, rules, regulations and industrial practices. So, before we talk about the process of getting ISO 9001 certification, let us talk about its importance in global business and industries.
What is ISO 9001? and its importance.
If we talk about ISO, then it is the abbreviation of International Standard Organization. This organization operates from Geneva, Switzerland. The organization has a panel of experts in various fields who conduct research into the latest technology and practices used in industries around the world. And on the basis of their findings, they prepare a group or set of standards which are valid worldwide.
Since the pace of development varies from country to country, technology and industrial practices may also differ from country to country. So when standards are prepared by the people working in this organization all these factors are also taken into consideration. So that they too can get ISO 9001 certification. That’s why never believe that foreign standards and policies have to be followed for ISO 9001 Certificate.
Rather, the truth is that standards and policies are prepared for that nation by the International Standards Organization as soon as they see the pace of development of a particular nation. Since there are different types of standards in ISO for different industries, a company may require one or more ISO certificates depending on the nature of its business.
ISO 9001 and all its other versions are about quality management systems. So in simple words we can say that it is concerned with implementing the highest Quality Management System in each and every department of a business or organization.
Benefits of ISO 9001 Certification
The list of some of the major benefits of ISO 9001 Certificate is as follows.
ISO certification plays a major role in building credibility for business globally. That is, at the international level, people’s faith in that particular business increases.
Since the main objective of ISO 9001 Certificate is to increase the quality of the products, so when customers get high quality products, it increases their satisfaction. Therefore, it also plays an important role in customer satisfaction.
ISO certification has also been considered essential for bidding in government tenders. Because most of the government departments prefer to give tenders only to those organizations which have such quality-maintaining certificates.
Since with the help of an ISO certification agency, the business unit can develop standard operating procedures and working instructions. Due to which business efficiency and efficiency improves.
As we all know that ISO 9001 Certificate is issued only to that business unit whose quality of products conforms to the set standards. Due to this, the risk of the entrepreneur’s order being rejected is greatly reduced.
Customer confidence increases towards ISO Certified company which directly helps the entrepreneur in marketing his enterprise.
How to get ISO 9001 Certificate?
As far as ISO 9001 Certificates is concerned, it is available for all types of enterprises whether it is a one-person individual company or a huge company with branches spread all over the world. It is meant to say that the size of the business may be big or small, this certification is available to everyone. This process of certification involves the implementation of a Quality Management System (QMS) within all departments of a company or business unit. And thereafter audit and certification of the Quality Management System implemented in that business unit from an authorized ISO certified agency.
If the entrepreneur wishes, he can find the list of certified agencies available in India on the website of ISO and by contacting them, he can get information about the process of certification and audit to get ISO 9001 Certificate. Taking the help of an ISO 9001 certified agency in this process can prove to be of immense help as these agencies make various processes easy. And these types of agencies also provide a roadmap to their clients which proves to be very helpful for the entrepreneur in getting ISO 9001 Certificate.
Why does an entrepreneur need ISO 9001 Certificate? It is meant to say that the very first step that an entrepreneur should take to obtain such a certification should be why he needs it for his organization. And how will this certification help the organization? And how will the entrepreneur achieve it.
By defining the goals, the entrepreneur will be able to better implement the Quality Management System within the different departments of his organization. Which will help in increasing business and profits. As an entrepreneur, the ultimate objective of ISO certification should be to increase profits by getting business from outside parties.
Appoint ISO Manager
The entrepreneur will have to appoint a responsible employee who can closely study all the features of implementing the Quality Management System in the organization. Generally, the main task of an ISO 9001 manager is to study various QMS models and create the best QMS model for the company. The ISO manager is also responsible for finding the best ISO certified agency for the company. That’s why the entrepreneur has to appoint an ISO 9001 manager.
Create Blueprint of Quality Management System
The blueprint of a QMS is essential for running your organization as per the standards set in ISO 9001. It will provide a roadmap of industrial trends that can be implemented across different departments of the company. While designing the QMS one should not think of individual employee but keeping them as a team as it does not deal with each employee individually.
There is no guarantee that the QMS model will work effectively in your organization, it may or may not, so the entrepreneur should prepare a blueprint of the QMS. And if the entrepreneur wants, he can also keep the QMS as a test.
Test the Quality Management System
As we have already told in the above sentence that there is no guarantee that QMS will work effectively in the entrepreneur’s organization, so the entrepreneur will have to test it. Real humans will participate in this test. So the employees working in the organization have to start following these standards for ISO certification. This process can take weeks or more depending on the size and resources of the organization.
When the entrepreneur observes the QMS in the actual work environment, it is obvious that he will also be aware of the obstacles in this new way of working. And these constraints would mean that in these areas the entrepreneur needs further improvements to get the ISO 9001 certificate.
Perform a gap audit or analysis
Generally, problems in implementing a QMS in an organization arise due to two reasons, the first reason being the faulty system of the organization and the second reason being the skill gap among the employees. So it is better to get the skill gap audit done before applying for ISO 9001 Certificate. The responsibility of this audit should be given to the ISO manager so that he can know what is the reason for the hindrance and what is its solution.
To implement Quality Management System in all departments of the organization or company, it is necessary to train the employees working in the company. It is also very important to reduce and remove the skill gap present in the employees during training. Employees should be aware that their company or organization is applying for ISO Certification and cooperation of employees is desirable in this entire process.
Training employees to comply with ISO 9001 standards is not a one-time activity. Rather it is a process that goes on day to day according to the need of work. The main objective of such training is to ensure hassle free work and also to create an excellent team within the teams of the department and with different departments to adhere to the standards of ISO 9001.
Before applying for ISO 9001 certification, the entrepreneur has to prepare the documents which are required by the ISO 9001 certified agency. Such certification may require various documents such as company registration, charter of association if the company is registered under the Partnership Act, HR rules and regulations, company policies towards external stakeholders, etc.
The entrepreneur has to keep one thing in mind that only documents will not be sufficient for ISO 9001 Certification, but the entrepreneur has to prove that his company follows ISO standards with full commitment.
Apply for ISO 9001 Certificate
It may take three to four months for the entrepreneur to complete all the above-mentioned processes. Therefore, applying for ISO 9001 Certificate should be done only when the ISO manager appointed in the company is completely satisfied. After that the entrepreneur should apply for ISO certification in one of the ISO certified agencies. The certifying agency will provide the organization with a checklist of a quality management system.
And the ISO manager has to satisfy the certifying agency that the QMS standards are being followed in his company. This is necessary because no certifying agency would want to waste time, resources and efforts in auditing a company that does not comply with these standards. Therefore, this type of certification should be applied for only if the QMS standards are being complied with.
Get ISO 9001 audited
When the application for ISO Certificate is made by the organization or company, after that the ISO certified agency comes to the office of the organization or company and audits whether the QMS standards are being followed there or not. Only the things discovered by them help in deciding whether to provide ISO 9001 Certificate to the company or organization or not.
Keep in mind that if the company or organization is considered ineligible for ISO certification in the first audit, it does not mean that it cannot apply for this certification in the future. Rather he can apply for this certification again by making corrections on the basis of checklist given by the agency. ISO 9001 certificate is awarded only to those organizations or companies which are seen by the auditing agency to be following the QMS standards.
So, if the entrepreneur’s company is following these standards, then it can achieve success in ISO certification. Keep in mind that the ISO 9001 certificate is initially valid for three years. Therefore, the entrepreneur has to keep updating his enterprise as per the changes in QMS standards from time to time. So that after three years the entrepreneur can apply for ISO Certification again.
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