ISO 9001 CERTIFICATION STEPS
ISO 9001 is the only standard in the ISO 9000 series that companies can apply for certification. The certification process lasts an average of six months; however, the duration really depends on the size and complexity of the business.
The path to a successful certification and achieving ISO 9001 compliance hinges on the following steps:
The first key step in the certification process is setting clear business goals and objectives. What do you want to accomplish (e.g., operational efficiency, customer satisfaction, improved quality)? This will help you define the scope of the certification and determine how it should be applied across the organization.
Also identify the person(s) responsible for overseeing and maintaining the certification. This could include a quality assurance manager or an executive.
Once you’ve established goals and objectives and identified key stakeholders, it’s important to conduct companywide trainings to ensure employees clearly understand the ISO requirements and how they impact the day-to-day operation.
Lastly, perform a gap assessment to gauge where your company is at in meeting the ISO 9001 requirements. Based on the analysis, you can identify deficiencies and prioritize areas that need the greatest attention.
2. QMS Implementation
A QMS serves as the roadmap to help your organization carry out processes in a systematic manner and achieve ISO 9001 compliance.
Develop documentation to support your QMS and reflect what your business does. As part of the QMS, a robust document management system should be in place to ensure proper revision control.
Required QMS documentation includes:
• Quality policy
• Quality objectives
• Scope of the QMS
• Work instructions
• Process maps/flowcharts
• Training records
Today many companies are moving away from traditional paper-based systems and embracing an enterprise quality management system (eQMS) solution to simplify ISO compliance and gain greater control and traceability over product and quality records.