Let’s review an important topic… What are ISO standards?
To begin we must know that ISO stands for International Standardization Organization. This organization has been in charge of creating international standards since 1947.
ISO standards are responsible for guiding, coordinating and unifying the criteria related to the management system. They work to provide information and tools specifically for management, which can be applied to any type of company or organization, whether private or public.
If you are interested in learning more about what ISO standards are, you can read our article What are ISO standards and what are they for?.
Customers have a better assessment of companies certified under ISO standards, as well as suppliers and distributors. ISO standards are suitable for any type of organization, regardless of the activity they carry out or their size.
What are the steps I must take to obtain an ISO certification?
Next, we are going to tell you the fundamental steps you must follow to achieve an ISO certification in your organization.
- You must decide which ISO standard you want to certify, since more than 20,000 international standards on quality, environment and sustainability have been published. You must define the framework on which you want to work and select the standard you want to certify.
- Once the ISO standard to be certified has been selected, it must be communicated to the entire company and instructions given, to transmit its essence to the entire team. The entire team must begin to work under the standards of the norm, it is about starting an adjustment process towards the same direction, with a single objective. The main requirements that we should start to familiarize ourselves with are:
- The philosophy of management systems
- Documentation Requirements
- Implementation Information
In the adaptation process, obstacles arise. They are generally doubts or impediments on the part of a particular area, since in the reviewing work and transforming tasks and processes, many may resist change or do things in a different way. This, results in loss of time and setbacks in the process to apply the new methodology.
3. An initial evaluation of the company’s situation must be carried out, where information will be collected on how close they are to the procedures and requirements of the standard to be certified. This step is often not taken into account, few organizations focus on carrying out an evaluation to find out where they are before starting an ISO certification project.
4. The points that are fulfilled and those that will have to be worked on to comply with the certification must be verified. Then, the objectives to be met with the implementation of the standard and the objectives to carry out the process in the fastest and most efficient way, must be established. It is also very important to establish the times in which the objectives must be achieved.
5. Procedures must be carried out to establish the implementation of the standard and correct all irregularities found in the initial evaluation. Depending on which certification we select, we will have different documentation needs.
The documents required in almost all ISO standards are:
- Specific policies that establish the processes of the organization.
- Policies that establish the objectives that define the specific requirements of each standard, such as quality or environment.
- Policies on the processes of the organization.
6. The last step is the realization of the certification audit. This will establish whether the organization meets the requirements established by the chosen standard. We recommend carrying out your audit with software such as Full Audits, which allows you to detect points of improvement and resolve them as a team. With our App you will be able to:
- Add comments by writing or voice dictation.
- Upload photos and videos.
- Take notes and graph over your media files to identify points to pay attention to.
- Create incidents to generate action plans.
We invite you to try a free demo so that you can start raising the quality standards of your company by carrying out digital audits with specialized software.
What does it mean for a company to obtain an ISO certification?
When an organization obtains a certification, quality, environmental, risk and safety or social responsibility, it is demonstrating, through an internationally recognized entity, that it complies with certain standards in its processes.
Having some certification is an essential process today, since in the great business competitiveness accentuated by globalization, organizations need to be recognized as reliable against their competition. For this reason, for many companies it has ceased to be a competitive advantage and has become a business necessity.