What is ISO Certification? Types, Importance, and Advantages
ISO means “The International Organization for Standardization”. This independent organization provides standards in terms of safety, quality and product efficiency business services. In the competitive business world, it is imperative to deliver the best quality of goods and services in order to prolong in the market. ISO Certification improves business credibility and overall business efficiency.
What are the types of ISO Certification?
- ISO 9001 – Quality Management System
- ISO 8000 – Data Quality System
- ISO 14001 – Enviornment Management System
- ISO 20000-1 – Information Technology Service Management System
- ISO 22000 – Food Safety Management System
- ISO 26000 – Social Responsibility System
- ISO 27001 – Information Security Management System
- ISO 28000 – Security Management System
- ISO 31000 – Risk Management System
- ISO 45001 – Occupational Health & Safety Management System
- ISO 50001 – Energy Management System
What are the advantages of ISO Certification?
International credibility: ISO Certification plays an important role in helping the organization to build credibility in overseas business too.
Customer Satisfaction: ISO standards are designed to make organizations to serve their customers in a better way that would simultaneously increase customers’ satisfaction. ISO Certification promotes customers satisfaction by meeting out their requirements
Government Tenders: Nowadays, ISO Certification is quite necessary to bid for Government Tenders.
Business Efficiency: Functional efficiency of organizations is improved by implementing ISO Certification. Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and work instructions can be developed with the help of ISO Certification Agency. Implementation of ISO manages the resources efficiently.
Product Quality: With ISO Certification, the product quality matches up the international standard, it can reduce the risk of order rejections that may occur due to the flawed products.
Marketability: ISO Certification improves the business credibility with the existing and current clients and it helps to the business marketing directly.
Benefits of various ISO certifications:
ISO 9001:2015: This quality management certification helps to manage a business, increases the efficiency of delivering products/services to the customers. It aids in implementing best practices as per the global standards. ISO 9001:2015 helps in demonstrating an organization’s quality management to the customers. Besides the above benefits some other benefits are detailed below:
- Helps to create a good impression on your associates
- Promotes the chances of winning contracts
- This certification is important to apply for any contracts
- Earns respect from the competitors, associates and partners
ISO 14001:2015: ISO 14001 provides business with a composition for administrating environmental operations, and it applies to all sizes and types of service and manufacturing operations include single to multi-national companies, service, and process industries.
- Improves operational efficiency
- Promotes staff morale and environment
- Accesses the international markets
- Reduces cost and wastages
- Improves environmental performance
- Improves a company’s image
- Enhances customers trust/satisfaction and confidence
ISO 22000:2018 : This certification gives the product safety to the food products and best tool for food manufacturers to guide and facilitate effective management system in the company. The fastest and biggest growing industry in present times is the Food industry. The prime objective of all organization is the well being and safety of their customers, without food safety management system, it is merely complicated for an organization to gain the customers’ trust and it is very important for a firm to survive. An organization with a certification of Food Safety Management System proofs that an organization is having an appropriate Food Safety Management Systems. It also includes the policies and requirement given under ISO 22000. Under the International Standard of ISO 22000, the Food Safety Management System is defined by organizations that strive to safeguard the safety of their consumers and at the same time, they avoid the consumption against all Food Safety Hazards.
ISO 27001:2013: This certification helps to secure and safeguard data and critical information from hackers (or) safeguards from unauthorized persons’ access. It is a known fact that data and information are the assets of an organization and when it is lost or leaked out, the company will face an adverse effect on the revenue part. Keeping ISO 27001 Certification builds confidence in the clients, and it would help a company to retain more clients and it will also bring in many new clients.
ISO 10002:2018 It helps organizations to recognize, manage and understand how the companies deal with their customers’ complaints. ISO 10002 Certification offers guidance for handling complaints related to a company’s products, including planning, design, maintenance, operation, and improvement. The complaint-handling method is one of the processes of an overall quality management system.
- It helps to retain customers
- Maintains brand reputation
- Improves operational efficacy
- Promotes continuous improvement
What are the prerequisite to process ISO certification?
Choose the right types of ISO. Since there are various types of ISO certifications available, you have to choose the right option for your business.
- Choosing the right type of ISO Certification Body:
One thing should be noted that ISO itself does not provide companies certification. It is done by the external bodies. So, it is important to recognize the credible certification body.
When choosing an ISO registrar, the following points should be kept in mind:
- You should evaluate several ISO Certification providers
- Check whether the company follows CASCO standards.
- Check whether the company is accredited or not. Though accreditation is not mandatory, however, the companies should meet the ISO accreditation bodies’ requirements.
- Create an application/contract
The registrar and the applicant should agree on a contract, which usually defines obligation and right of both the parties, includes confidentiality, access rights and liability issues
Company’s quality manual documents will be reviewed by the ISO auditor. Reviewing the current work
will help the ISO auditor to identify and eliminate the gaps against the requirements stipulated in the ISO standards
After seeing the communication and other accessible gaps in the organization, the ISO auditor will prepare an action plan to eliminate the gaps. Sometimes, the employer will be told to train its employees as per the new procedures. An Employer should make all the employees to learn about the ISO procedure.
Initial audit certification
Stage1 and 2 are initial audit certification levels
Stage 1: The ISO auditor will see the changes made in your organization. Then, the non-conformities in the systems, the procedure in your company are identified as desired by the quality management system. The employer should carefully monitor the modifications desired by the organization
Stage 2: Once all the necessary changes are done in the company, the final auditing is done by the ISO auditor. The auditor will check whether all the non-conformities are eliminated as per the ISO standards. If once he is satisfied, he will prepare the final audit report and the same will be forwarded to the registrar.
Completing the ISO certification
Once all summaries are written in the ISO audit report, the ISO certification is granted by the registrar. Depends on the number of employees, processes steps, Level of risk associated with the risk of the organization, Management system’s complexity, the number of shifts, are considered in the ISO certification cost process. The time frame for ISO certification will take 45 to 180 days, depending on the documentation procedures followed by the company to meet the quality standards.
Steps for the ISO Certification in Kerala, India
- Determine the kind of ISO Certification that you need. There are different kinds of ISO Certifications like ISO 22000 – Food Safety Management, ISO 9001 -Quality Management System, ISO 27001 – Information Security, etc. from which you could select the suitable one for you.
- Find a best consultant or consultancy to initiate your ISO certification procedures and documentation. They will play a major role in getting a right ISO certification body which apt your business.
- After choosing a credible and recognized ISO certification body you can start the documentation part of ISO. This kind of certification is given by the external bodies and not ISO itself.
- A contract needs to be generated between the registrar and the applicant. The issues like the liabilities, access rights and confidentiality, obligations of parties are covered.
- The ISO auditor examines the various procedures done in the organization related to the quality manuals and the documents. The ISO auditor will find the possible voids in the procedures. GAP analysis is done to know actual performance compared with desired or potential performance.
- An action plan is to be prepared by the applicant for eliminating the existing gaps in the organization which has been already communicated to them by the auditor.
- A re- audit is conducted by the auditor in order to check the alterations made .The report of this audit is then forwarded to the registrar.
- If the findings are being found to be put in place by the applicant the registrar will give the applicant the ISO Certification.
- The surveillance audit is responsible to check whether the applicant maintains the quality management standards.