An ISO certificate is simply recognition of the company’s compliance with the specific ISO standard requirements, whether such relates to a management system, quality procedure, documentation or manufacturing.
The ISO is an international standardisation organisation that develops and oversees standards regarding the way companies conduct business, manufacture goods, deliver such and provide customer service. There is no regulation enforcement and with most standards, certification is not compulsory.
ISO comes from the Greek word ISOS, which means “equal to”. It consists of the International Federation of the National Standardising Associations and the United Nations Standard Coordinating Committee. ISO became the name for the International Organisation for Standardisation so as to prevent misunderstandings that could occur because of translations. The objective of the ISO as from 1947 was and still is to ensure unification of the various industrial standards across geographical borders. This makes it possible for companies from different countries to trade with business partners that comply with the various requirements of specific ISO standards, as opposed to standards just relevant to a specific country.
There are well over 148 countries forming part of the ISO membership profile and delegates from these countries regularly meet to develop new standards and to review or adjust existing standards.
Why Get an ISO Certificate?
The standards, as applicable to different industries, have some advantages in common. Obtaining an ISO certificate helps a company to gain credibility with business partners, as compliance with the various standards shows commitment to quality, ethical conduct and sustainable management processes. Companies able to show compliance benefit from having a competitive edge when it comes to applying for tenders. Such firms also benefit from cost savings associated with streamlined processes and standardisation of operations. Their customers receive consistent good service and as such, companies are able to grow their customer base while reducing costs associated with defects, returned products or unsatisfied customers.
Staff members know what is expected from them and because training forms an integral part of ensuring compliance, the employees benefit from bettering of their knowledge, skill sets and qualifications. All these ensure higher productivity, morale and loyalty. By getting an ISO certificate the firm, in effect, tells its customers that they are committed to meeting customer needs. The company tells its customers that their products and services are safe, and according to the ISO standard quality requirements.
The standards provide guidelines and form strategic tools for the management of costs, and the minimisation of errors and waste, as well as the improvement of productivity. Through compliance and certification, a company is able to enter new markets and compete internationally.
The ISO, as said earlier, doesn’t enforce the regulations and also doesn’t do certifications. The organisation develops the standards. Independent certification bodies handle the ISO certificate application processes. It is important to understand that the ISO doesn’t have authority to issue certificates.
Important Notice on the Display of the ISO Certificate
A company shouldn’t state that a product or service is ISO certified. Instead, the correct wording for labels is “ISO certification”. The company may not use the ISO logo, as it is the organisation’s trademarked logo. The wording will be sufficient or the company can use the logo from the certification body, if allowed and where relevant.
ISO certification for ISO 9001, for instance, entails several internal audits, in addition to external ISO audits for determining compliance with the documentation and procedural requirements. At WWISE, we offer a full range of services related to ISO certificates, including training of various personnel, internal, third party and external audits, preparation for ISO certification, and maintenance programmes.
Clients benefit from our expertise in management systems development and integration, in addition to the above services. We offer our expertise and services in relation to many of the ISO standards, including but not limited to ISO 9001; 14001; 18001; TS 1649; 50001; SHEQ and 27001.
Our first party or internal auditing service entails audits of your firm by consultants, employees or contractors appointed by us or internal audits by your company and the employees. The second party auditing, also known as external supplier audit is where customer employees audit your firm externally, or where we or you appoint employees for the external auditing of a company that supplies you with products or services. The third party auditing is an external independent organisation audit and is relevant when another customer wants to audit your firm, but you are expected to pay for it. The GAP Analysis audit is a first party internal audit that reveals your current ISO compliant status, and the audit is used to guide us and your firm in effectively costing the gaps within your firm’s organisational processes.
Contact us for more information on the process of obtaining an ISO certificate.