What ISO 9001 Implementation is About
If your enterprise is planning to implement an ISO 9001-compliant quality management system (QMS) with the aim of getting certification for compliance, then your employees will benefit from the ISO 9001 implementation training that we offer. The training will prepare the relevant personnel to implement the ISO 9001 QMS in the correct way to ensure compliance and thus certification. Below is a brief introduction of the steps involved in the implementation and certification process.
Ensure Support on Management at All Levels
Without management involvement in the implementation, the process will fail. All managers, from supervisory to senior and executive levels, must support the development and implementation of the QMS. You may need to send relevant employees for ISO 9001 awareness training to help them understand the benefits of implementing a compliant QMS.
Identify and Understand Compliance Requirements
Not taking the time to understand the various requirements for successful implementation would be a mistake. You will fly blind and waste valuable resources in the process. Make sure you know which regulations are applicable, what the requirements for customer satisfaction are, and what the requirements for your corporate culture entail.
Define the QMS Implementation Scope
You must identify the boundaries of what you must do for implementation as to avoid a situation where you include spheres of the enterprise that have no effect on the QMS. For this you need to draft the company’s policy on quality. It will form the base document for the ISO 9001-compliant QMS.
Identify and Document the Processes and Procedures
You must document the processes and procedures as required for certification, in addition to any such procedures crucial for your company to ensure consistency in quality. What is important here is to ensure that every relevant process is defined and that you have an in-depth understanding of how the processes interact within the enterprise, as this will help you to identify problem areas.
In many instances, you will already have the relevant processes in place in your company, but will just need to ensure proper documentation of them to ensure consistency. You will need to decide which processes must have procedure documentation for the purpose of compliance. Our ISO 9001 implementation training will help you understand which ones are relevant according to the standard’s requirements.
Establish a Training Plan
Every employee in your enterprise must understand what the quality management system entails and what their role in it is. They should attend the awareness training program to ensure they understand why changes in certain processes are initialised. They must also be trained in the processes.
Approach the Certification Body
Note that the ISO does not perform the certification audit. There are certification bodies that audit your enterprise QMS according to the requirements of ISO 9001.
Collect the Documents Needed
At this stage, you must collect all relevant documentation and records for the purpose of certification audits to show compliance with the requirements of ISO 9001. You need to show that the processes implemented are ISO 9001-compliant and that the procedures are correctly documented. It is also at this stage where you will make the improvements needed to ensure compliance.
Time for Internal Auditing
The internal auditing process differs from the external one in the sense that it is done by an appointed person or team within the company to determine where there may be shortfalls. This process helps you identify areas where improvements must be made and gives you the opportunity to take the necessary steps to correct areas of non-compliance. In this regard, your employees will also benefit from our internal auditing and lead auditing courses. We can further assist with the auditing process.
Our team performs a GAP analysis to determine shortcomings and provides a report on it. You use the information to make the necessary changes before applying for the official certification audit.
The certification audit takes place and if your enterprise meets the requirements, your firm is awarded ISO 9001 QMS certification.
Part of setting up an ISO 9001-compliant QMS is to ensure ongoing improvement. Once certified, you will want to ensure ongoing support by Management for the QMS. They must be involved in improvement and maintenance of the QMS. Through scheduled management reviews, the managers are able to review data as relevant to the QMS in order to assess performance and areas where corrective action must be taken to ensure ongoing compliance and improvement.
The necessary steps must be taken to correct shortcomings and to improve on the processes and procedures with the aim to achieve consistency in quality.
Benefits of ISO 9001 Certification
Becoming compliant holds several benefits, such as consistency in quality. Customer confidence increases because the customers know that a specific standard of service and product delivery can be expected from your company. With increased customer satisfaction comes more business and better customer retaining ability, which in turn, improves revenue stability for the company. With improved and ongoing high levels of quality in product and service delivery, you get the benefit of brand development. Your company’s image is positively affected. Productivity increases because employees know what is expected from them. Wastage is reduced because of quality controls. Fewer products are returned and fewer customer complaints are received. There is a standard for dealing with every aspect of quality including how complaints are handled.
Add to the above improved efficiency and streamlining of processes and you also realise more savings. This translates into higher profits which can be used towards enterprise growth. Employee morale increases and the company culture thus benefits. In addition, the ongoing training in the processes and procedures ensures a safer environment, higher skills level in the company, and fewer mistakes. There is always an audit trail of actions taken and a benchmark against which measurement can be done. In this way, it is possible to ensure consistency in quality throughout.
If your company gets ISO 9001 certification, you also benefit from the prestige associated with it. This gives your company a competitive edge over peers that have not been certified and helps to open up international trading opportunities. Certification proves to customers, business partners, trading partners, shareholders, and key stakeholders that your firm is committed to ongoing improvement and high levels of quality.
What Comes Next?
Start with ISO 9001 Implementation Training. View our range of courses and contact us to help you identify training requirements of your employees to ensure successful implementation of the QMS for certification purposes.