How to get an ISO Certificate – Making the decision to achieve and maintain an ISO certificate is an extremely positive step for any organisation. The benefits are huge, including the impact it can have on winning new business. But how do you go about getting an ISO certificate?
Below is an eight-step guide that will help you:
Step #1 Internal buy in
The business may have made the decision that achieving a certification is what is needed, however paying lip service isn’t enough. This is a strategic decision that has to come from the top down and achieve workforce buy in. If you have this, then it will be much easier.
Step #2 Allocate resources
A project lead (if your business is large enough, a team) will be required to manage the project. If you don’t have anyone with experience in your organisation, you can opt to formally train an individual or individuals. There are courses available to provide the knowledge and skills needed; or alternatively utilise the expertise of a consultant to support progress throughout the process.
Step #3 Where you are now
Carry out a review (also known as a gap analysis) of where the business is now and what it needs to do to achieve the standard it is aiming for. This will provide a baseline to work from, so everyone is clear what they need to do to achieve the certification. If you are unsure about what is needed to achieve your chosen standard, contact us and we can provide you with the information you need.
Step #4 Implement the ‘management system’
This is the most time and resource intensive step. A management system will need to be developed and implemented. This will be a series of processes, procedures and forms underpinned by a ‘sign-posting’ manual. It does not need to be complex or highly detailed but it does need to justify how the business meets the standard(s). The system will also address the ‘gaps’ that have been identified in Step #3, ensuring that your business practices meet all the elements required to achieve the standard that you are aiming for.
Step #5 Carry out an internal audit
Before an external accredited auditor comes in to assess your business, an internal audit should be carried out which will allow you to correct any issues beforehand.
Step #6 Instruct an external audit
To become certified you will need to instruct an external audit with a UKAS Accredited certification body, such as Ocean Certification. This is a two-step process that allows further improvements as required. If successful, you will achieve your certification!
Step #7 Celebrate and shout about it!
Once you have achieved your standard, don’t forget to let all your customers know that you have achieved it! You’ve worked hard to gain this and have proven your business is committed to delivering a professional service/product.
Insert the standard’s mark onto your website and any other appropriate marketing material. Don’t forget to share the news across social media and any other communications that you send out to your customers and suppliers!
Step #8 Maintain it
Your certification will expire in three years, and during that time you will need to maintain the standard through the practices you have put in place via yearly audits.
How to get an ISO Certificate – made simple:
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