ISO Certification is a seal of approval from a third party body that a company runs to one of the international standards developed and published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
The International Standards Organisation (ISO) is an international body providing guidelines for companies in terms of product quality, health, and performance. An ISO registration enhances the reputation of your service or product. There are different types of ISO certifications, such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 5001, etc.
● ISO 9001:2008- Quality Management System
● OHSAS 18001 – Occupational Health & Safety Management System
● ISO 37001 – Anti-bribery management systems
● ISO 31000 – Risk Management
● ISO 27001 – Information Security Management System
● ISO 10002 – Compliant Management System
● ISO 14001:2015 – Environmental Management System
● ISO 26000 – Social Responsibility
● ISO 28000 – Security Management
● ISO 22008 – Food Safety Management
● SA 8000 – Social accountability
● EnMS EN 16001 ISO 50001 – Energy Management
● SO/IEC 17025 – Testing and calibration laboratories
● SO 13485 – Medical devices
● ISO 639 – Language codes
● ISO 4217 – Currency codes
● ISO 3166 – Country codes
● ISO 8601 – Date and time format
● ISO 20121 – Sustainable events
● SO/IEC 27001 – Information security management
Selecting the Type of ISO Certification
First of all, the entrepreneur needs to choose the type of ISO certification required for the business. Various types of ISO certification are available.
Selecting an ISO Certification Body (ISO Registrar)
As stated above ISO does not provide companies’ certification. It needs to be done by the external certification bodies. Thus it is mandatory to recognise the credible certification body. When selecting a certification body, the entrepreneur has to follow the things listed below.
The cost of getting ISO certification is not fixed and varies from organization to organization. The ISO certification agency calculates the cost of ISO certification separately for each organization after considering them on different parameters such as-
Time is taken in completing the whole process of ISO certification also varies from organization to organization. A fair idea can be given by the ISO certification agency after assessing the size of the company. Generally, the time required to complete the process of ISO certification is approximate :
The major reason a company needs an ISO certification is if it is mandatory by law or contract. Some companies and government tenders might insist on only dealing with ISO-rated providers. The secondary reasons to conform to the standards are:
The ISO certification body will review all the quality manuals and documents related to various policies and procedures being followed in the organisation. A review of existing works will help the ISO registrar to identify the possible gaps against the requirements stipulated in the ISO standards.
The Pre-assessment is an initial review of the Quality Management System in an organisation to identify any significant weakness or omissions in the system and the registrar will provide the organisation with an opportunity to correct the deficiencies before the regular registration assessment is conducted.
After the register is notified of the existing gaps in the organisation, the applicant or entrepreneur has to prepare an action plan to eliminate these gaps. The action plan should contain the list of the required tasks to be performed to meet the Quality Management System.
When the application has selected the ISO standard and ISO certification body, they need to make an application in a prescribed form (depending on the ISO registrar). The application should contain rights and obligations of entrepreneur and certification body parties and includes liability issues, confidentiality, and access rights.
The ISO registrar will conduct a physical onsite inspection to audit the changes made in the organisation. During the audit, if the registrar finds anything that does not meet the requirements of the ISO standards, the registrar determines the severity and issues findings. Audit findings are usually called nonconformities.
The registration cannot proceed until all significant nonconformities are closed and verified by the Registrar. This usually involves a re-audit of the affected areas and, of course, the associated costs.
After all, non-conformities are addressed, and all the findings are updated in the ISO audit report, the registrar will grant the ISO certification.
Surveillance audits will be conducted primarily to ensure that the organisation is maintaining ISO quality standards. It will be performed from time to time.
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