Established and maintained by the International Organization for Standards (ISO), the ISO 9001 standard comprises of a set of management principles created to make sure that the quality management system of an organization is able to meet the requirements of the staff, customers, and different key stakeholders. In this way, the companies that are obtaining the ISO 9001 certification in the UK have seen increased customer retention, improved employee morale, and better revenues.
Benefits of Using ISO 9001 Certification
There are ample benefits when an organization obtains the ISO 9001 certification, here are some of those worth mentioning:
- Increased Overall Revenue: Since certification especially ISO certification wins the trust of the customers as well as increases the authenticity of the organization, which attracts more and more customers. In this way, the overall revenue of an organization for sure increases.
- Satisfied customers: As ISO certification ensures to deliver the products that meet the complete requirements of the customer, thus there is a great sense of satisfaction that is found among the customers of ISO certified companies.
- Improvement in employee satisfaction level: Since ISO certification requires transparency of communication throughout the organization, which improves the satisfaction level of the employees.
- Recognition in the global market: As the ISO standards are developed and maintained by the industry experts of throughout the world, thus it provides global recognition to an organization that follows it.
- Improved risk management system: Greater transparency, and consistency in the system improves the risk management system of an organization with ISO certification. This means rectification of an issue becomes much easier and changes to avoid a problem gets high.
- Better relationships with suppliers and other stakeholders: Since ISO 9001 certified organization ensure a supplier about their authenticity as they follow best industry practices, thus the relationship with suppliers and other stakeholders get improved.
- Factual decision making: The use of robust and accurate data by an ISO certified organization makes it easier to make decisions.
- Continuous improvement in the system: Once an organization gets ISO 9001 certification in the UK it has to follow its standards continuously, which results in constant improvement in its system.
ISO Certification Process
The seven step ISO certification process that an organization can follow to adhere to the ISO guidelines get accredited with the certificate is as follows:
- Step 1 – Preparation: Preparing for ISO certification is the first step. Preparation means checking whether ISO certification is the right choice for your organization or not.
- Step 2 – Communicating the goal: Implementing the ISO standards in the organization should be communicated to the entire organization and if not, then at-lest to the key account holders.
- Step 3 – Hiring a Consultant: Since ISO certification requires a lot of documentation and other work in order to prepare your organization according to ISO standards, thus it is suggested to hire a consultant or consulting firm to help you to get ISO accreditation in the UK. A consultant from the consulting firm inspects the existing procedures and processes of the organization. Moreover, the consultants will use their findings for creating a report of the changes that are needed in your organization to get the ISO certification.
- Step 4 – Finding a Certification Body: There are a large number of certification bodies exist in the United Kingdom ranging from a small organization specific bodies to big internationally acclaimed companies. Therefore, the key areas to select a perfect certification body for your organization are:
- Ensure that the certification body that you are going to select is accredited by UKAS.
- Verify the profile of the certification body in the market.
- Make sure that the certification body is not charging much for this purpose. Generally, the cost of the certification depends upon the number of employees in the organization, its annual turnover, number of locations, and the procedure followed in the existing quality system.
- Step 5 – Stage 1 Audit: In the stage 1 audit, the auditors review the existing system and provide a copy of gap analysis report. This report contains the actions needed to for meeting the standards.
- Step 6 – Stage 2 Audit: Once all the gaps mentioned in the gap analysis report are filled, the auditors visit again to your organization. If your organization is fully compliant, the certification will be recommended. The reports of the auditors are duly checked through the approval process and if there are no anomalies, then your organization gets the ISO certificate.
- Step 7 – Maintaining the Management System: The internal audits should be performed in order to ensure that the requirements of the standards are met continuously.
In this way, getting an ISO certification in the UK is neither difficult nor very expensive. Especially with the assistance of an experienced ISO accreditation body, the process of internal preparation, getting ready with the documents, applying for the audit, and the final audit becomes much easier.