Back To Basics: Becoming ISO Certified

Bringing you information about SQA, Quality Management, and more.

July 31, 2017



What is ISO Certification?
ISO Certification authenticates a company’s credibility to provide consistent and quality products from a third-party organization. Certification signifies a company meets one or more internationally-recognized ISO management standards. These standards include having well-defined and regularly-reviewed processes and procedures that employees adhere to and execute. There are an array of ISO certification systems, with Smithers Quality Assessments providing certification for:
 
• ISO 9001
• ISO/TS 16949 & IATF 16949
• OHSAS 18001
• AS9100
• ISO 13485
• ISO 14001

 

Why should I become ISO Certified?
ISO Certification is an internationally-recognized set of standards that communicates quality  to customers in a wide-range of categories, such as environmental management, health and safety, quality management, and medical devices. By becoming certified, a company is signifying to its customers that it is willing to operate within a set framework to achieve its company objectives, correlating to a better final product, lower risk, and improved business processes. ISO Certification also exemplifies an organization’s commitment to maintaining control of its processes and procedures by delivering quality products with consistent delivery standards.  Earning ISO Certification can help an organization differentiate itself from competitors.

How do I choose a certification company?
There are certain factors to consider when choosing a certification company such as crelationship and experience. Smithers Quality Assessments takes pride in our customer service, taking a “no-surprise” approach with a quick response time. To us, it is more than just a business relationship- it’s a partnership where we are determined to help companies meet their goals and objectives. At Smithers, we are confident in the experience of our auditors, all of whom have been in the industry for many years and continue to have long-standing relationships with clients. These on-going relationships display our commitment to continue helping our clients have successful management systems.

How much does ISO Certification cost?
There are many factors in determining the cost of becoming ISO Certified. Factors like employee count, maturity of the Quality Management System (QMS), if the company is design responsible, the square footage of the facility, how many outsource processes the company has, and the number of buildings included on the scope. These price estimations vary due to the unique factors of companies.

How long does the process take?
ISO Certification is a multi-step process that generally takes a minimum of six months to a year from implementation to registration. This certification requires businesses to institute specific procedures and processes per standard they choose as well as allowing certain said systems to be established and operational for a set amount of time. Once the initial audit is completed, the company will receive an official certification that is valid for three years if the proper audit days are performed yearly (i.e. 12 and 24 month surveillances).

What is the certification process?
Stage 1 consists of an initial assessment in which Smithers will come in to evaluate the company’s QMS, facility layout and any regulatory requirements. We will also refine the initial assessment scope and confirm the number of audit days required for the assessment. Stage 2 will consist of observations, record reviews, and personal interviews to determine the level of implementation and effectiveness of documented procedures. Upon completion, the Lead Auditor will supply a written report of the results of the audit in the closing meeting and determination of recommendation for certification, or not, will be discussed at that time. The point of “recommend for certification,” and receiving the actual certification takes about 30-45 days to complete. Smithers will continue to provide assistance to the company as-needed to ensure the company is ready for re-certification.
 

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About The Author | Smithers Quality Assessments

Smithers Quality Assessments (SQA) is a “Best in Class” quality and environmental management systems certification body. We serve large, medium and small clients in North America and Europe in several industrial, commercial, service and government business sectors. Since we were founded in 1993, SQA has sustained a growth rate that ranks among the best in the industry.

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