Skip to content
Home » How to Get ISO 9001 Certified

How to Get ISO 9001 Certified

ISO 9001 (International Standard for Quality Management System) is an international standard. It provides a list of criteria or standards to help you define quality management principles. These include focusing on customers, optimizing leadership and management within your organization, improving and fine-tuning your internal processes, and general methods that allow for continuous improvement.
Let’s look at the components of ISO 9001 certification.

ISO is the International Organization for Standardization. It is an international standard-setting agency based in Geneva. It includes representatives from various commercial, industrial and proprietary standard organizations.

It’s basically the organization that is responsible for creating and implementing all of these standard.

The ISO does not actually certify anything. All certifications are done by third parties.

The standard identifier is identified by the number after ISO. ISO 9001 is one the most popular ISO standards. It defines criteria for general quality control systems.

ISO 9001 forms part of the ISO 9000 family. All ISO 9000 standards are related to quality management.

This standard was created to aid organizations in being more efficient and meeting the needs of customers.

ISO 9001 certification is granted to at least one million businesses and organizations across 170+ nations.

ISO 9001 can also be certified as the only standard in the 9000 range. Although certification is not required, organizations can still use the principles of ISO 9001 without becoming certified.

Technically, only certified organizations are eligible to “be certified”. However, individuals can become Certified Lead Auditors (or Registrars) to conduct audits of organizations.

Certification generally covers the entire organization but will focus on specific departments or facilities that can improve performance.

Here’s a quick summary of the most important information on the ISO 9001 standard.

ISO 9001 (International Standard for Quality Management System) is an international standard.
ISO 9001 forms part of the ISO 9000 family.
The only standard that can have ISO 9001 certification is it. There is no ISO Certification.
ISO 9001 certification is not for individuals; it is only for organizations and companies.
Individuals can however become ISO 9001 Certified Lead auditors. This allows them to audit companies.
The size of an organization doesn’t really matter. It could be as small as one person, or as large and varied at 100,000.
ISO 9001 can be used to standardize quality management in any industry.
ISO 9001 is a process-oriented, not a product focused standard. It is not intended to determine product quality. However, if your process is excellent, your product should be as well.

What does ISO 9001 certification entail?

ISO 9001 certified organizations have successfully implemented a quality control system that meets all the requirements of the ISO 9001 standard.

An important part of ISO 9001 certification is ensuring that areas for improvement are identified, and that they are addressed. ISO 9001 certification means that organizations can be presumed to offer products or services that comply with strict quality management standards.

What is a Quality Management System?

The ISO 9001 standard’s quality management system is at the heart of it. The simplest definition of a quality management program is a set if guidelines or principles for standard operating procedures. This system can be used to measure “quality” in various aspects of your company.

You can think of it as a set or policies and procedures that help you to deliver your product to customers. It’s almost a system of business process management with a strong focus on quality control.

Every QMS will be unique, and each one will be tailored to meet the goals and needs of the company. The ISO 9001 and the ISO 9000 families provide guidelines to help you plan and implement a successful QMS.

It is possible to understand a QMS by breaking down the four core elements, or stages.

Check it out

While a QMS will not automatically make you ISO 9001-certified, it is the foundation of the whole certification.

There are additional standards within the 9000 family to support implementation of a quality control system.

ISO 9000 defines and specifies the terms and principles that guide ISO 9001.
ISO 9004 is intended to improve the success of QMSs defined in 9001.

You can read our article about quality management systems for a better understanding of the inner workings.
Why ISO 9001 matters

The ISO 9001 certification is an internationally recognised symbol of quality and prestige. It is assumed that certified organizations have a consistent system to ensure high customer satisfaction levels and continuous improvement.
Benefits of ISO 9001 Certification

ISO 9001 certification has many benefits, making it an important decision for any organization. Here are some of the key benefits.

How ISO 9001 certification benefits you business

Market share and profit potential increase
Time saved by more efficient resource administration
Recurring problems and anomalies can be reduced or eliminated
Brand image and credibility are improved
Automation and process integration reduce manual labor.
Data and evidence can be used to improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness.

ISO 9001 examines the processes individually and how they interact. Examining the interdependence of all your business processes within the context of QMS can help you identify areas where optimization and improvement are possible.

To achieve your business goals, you must use evidence and data to guide your decisions. You need to gather enough data and properly document your business processes in order to have reliable data. Quality management systems can be useful in this area. They allow you to document every aspect of your business.

How ISO 9001 certification benefits customers

It gives assurance that you are a trustworthy, high quality vendor
ISO 9001 is all about customer satisfaction
Customer feedback can be quickly and effectively acted upon
Preemptive planning allows you to address issues before they become problems for customers

Implementing quality management systems requires that customers are satisfied by the company. Customer satisfaction leads to continued business.

If a customer can see that you have met the high quality standards required for ISO 9001 certification, they will trust you more.

How ISO 9001 certification benefits employees

Improved business performance means that jobs are more secure
Employees report greater job satisfaction, workplace happiness and job satisfaction due to clear and streamlined roles (what and how they do it).
Improved planning and organizational structuring make it easier for employees to get training and onboarding.
The implementation of a QMS may foster a culture that is open to continuous improvement within the company.
Employees are more engaged in their work and feel more responsible for the process they use

Worker morale can be improved by creating a culture that encourages continuous improvement. This will make workers feel more involved in and accountable for the design, implementation, and optimization processes they use each day.

Furthermore, it is logical that the people who design and optimize a process are the ones who use them daily.

Your entire workforce can be brought together to enhance and build upon existing processes. This not only creates a culture for continuous improvement but also aligns workers with the overall goals of the organization.

How to get ISO 9001 certification

To become certified, you will first need to implement a QMS according to the ISO 9001 standard. After that, you can have your QMS audited and certified by an auditor.

The certification lasts approximately three years. After that, the organization will need to be recertified.

It is technically only possible for organizations that ISO 9001 certification can be obtained. However, for clarity, I have added a section that outlines the steps to become a Certified Body (or Registrar) to help organizations with certification audits.
For organisations

It is important that it be stated that ISO 9001 cannot be used as a “joint” group for organizations. It is a certification which must be earned as part of a specific auditing procedure.

To become ISO 9001 certified you must:

In accordance with the ISO 9001 standard, create and implement a quality control system.
A Certified Body (CB, Registrar) will conduct an audit to evaluate the performance of your QMS in relation to the ISO 9001 standard.
If you are successful, your certificate will need to recertified every three years. Then again, every three years. This is to ensure you are up-to-standard and to reflect any changes.

For individuals

ISO 9001 is not a personal quality standard. This means that such people cannot be “certified”. However, they can be certified auditors by completing a five-day training course.