How Can You Get the Most from Your ISO 9001:2008 Certification?



ISO certification - Lots of individuals believe that the ISO 9001 certification is merely an exercise which puts documents together to show an\the auditor in order to acquire the certification. This is a popular misconception. Before, the ISO standard concentrated less on the results and needed a lot of documents. This is according to individuals who have worked with ISO for lots of years. This is why many business owners and managers believe that this was not beneficial to their business and that this was just a part of the operating expense.

ISO certification - More recent changes to the standard have restructured the requirements to focus more on improvement of business processes and have less focus on putting documents together for the benefit of an auditor. This new approach has had a major impact on the results achieved by certified companies as seen by clients, shareholders, top management and employees. This new "Process Approach" is a sensible way to align improvement efforts throughout the business with actual business and customer needs.

Our consultants have helped lots of companies attain ISO 9001 certification ever since the year 2000 and have implemented three basic rules to get great outcome from the investment. They are the following:

The most common "mistake" we have seen companies make in implementing ISO for the initial time is to make it very complex. As an outcome, there are procedures, records and job training which are truly not necessary. You see those who implement the system would rather be "safe than sorry" since they really don't know what the auditor would look for. Other than not adding to the value of the company, this would also increase the current ISO certification cost.

Instead, a conscious effort must be made to keep documentation to a minimum and focus on implementing those specifically needed by the business or needed by the standard.

The next guideline is to improve performance for both the business and the customer and this could be achieved by improving the company's procedures. Therefore, you should implement everything to support the needs of the clients and according to the company's operations. Businesses can still comply with the intention of the certification because they can utilize the general language of the ISO standard to tailor their QMS to specifically meet their requirements.

Your business must benefit from the outcome of working with a specific requirement which is aligned with your management approach.

If you implement something, make certain that your reason is not merely so that you can show an auditor. You should apply rules one and two if while talking about an ISO requirement you say that you have implemented something to show an auditor. Though you certainly have to develop a system which meets the ISO requirements, every requirement is flexible to be implemented in a way to suit your company - and to add measurable value to it. Be certain to review your ISO processes and documents with an eye on keeping it simple and adding business value. Doing the abovementioned rule would certainly satisfy your auditor.