We often talk about the benefits of ISO certification, and the assurances that ISO standards can offer to existing and potential customers – but what about the process itself? In this blog, we will outline ISO 9001 requirements, and how your business can meet them.
Documents and Processes
The first step is to prove to an auditor that your quality management system (QMS) processes allow you to meet the requirements of the standard. The quantity of documentation that you will need can seem intimidating, but many businesses already have similar documents available, and a professional (like our team of experts) can help you to format and collate your information in suitable formats. ISO 9001 quality management also empowers you to identify weaknesses in your documentation, and create new or improved processes.
Stage 1 Assessment
During this assessment, your auditor looks over all of your documentation and processes. In doing so, they will highlight any issues or gaps in what you have provided that will need to be fixed to achieve ISO 9001 accreditation. The length of this assessment varies by business size, and you will provide you with a list of areas that require improvement. You will be able to do this before commencing your Stage 2 assessment.
Stage 2 Assessment
At this stage, your auditor will review your responses to the issues brought up in the previous assessment. They will also evaluate your processes working in practice, by meeting managers and staff. You will need to provide internal audits, as well as management reviews. Your auditor will want to see that everyone in your business knows and follows your processes correctly.
If your Stage 2 assessment goes well, your auditor will recommend you for certification. At that point, an accredited certification body (like Mark1) can confirm that your QMS has met the required standards. At this point, you will be awarded ISO 9001 certification, which is valid for three years!
To discuss how the Mark1 team can guide your ISO 9001 certification journey, you can contact us here.