Last Updated on
January 20, 2023
The International Standards Organization (ISO) is a nongovernmental organization created by a group of delegates from 26 countries to develop international standards that businesses can use to adhere to industrial specifications and requirements. To comply with these standards, businesses have to become certified through various ISO certifications, which demonstrate that a company is meeting specific quality assurance and manufacturing standards. In other words, ISO certifications ensure that the products and services provided by an organization are safe, reliable, and of excellent quality.
In 1951, the very first ISO standard, ISO/R 1:1951, was published to set a reference temperature for length measurements. Today, ISO has 22,700 International Standards spanning almost all areas or steps of business processes, including science and technology, engineering, and information security. Currently, its members include standards bodies from 167 countries, all of whom contribute to building policies and quality standards that are effective and can be implemented worldwide.
ISO works in cooperation with the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), which is the world association of Conformity Assessment Accreditation Bodies, and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), which is the international organization for accreditation bodies that comply with ISO/IEC 17011.
In this article, we will dive into more details of ISO certification, including how it is defined, what it includes, and how one can obtain the certification for its organization.
Please note that the information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only. We do not offer certification or accreditation services. If you are interested in obtaining certification or accreditation, we recommend contacting the relevant program directly.
ISO certification serves as a seal or validation by a third party (accredited certification bodies) for the services or products offered by an organization. It shows consumers and stakeholders that the company runs on an international standard, developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and consistently produces high-quality goods.
Each ISO certification has a different focus, and standard criteria, such as:
These ISO certifications consist of different components that define their features and use cases for the certification procedures. Let’s use ISO 9001:2015 as an example. The standard has three components:
To demonstrate how ISO certifications work, let’s use the example above once more. ISO 9001 lays out specific requirements for a quality management system (QMS), a formalized system that documents the processes, procedures, and responsibilities necessary to create high-quality products or services. An organization’s QMS should meet the standards defined by ISO 9001 to show to customers and stakeholders that it is complying with regulatory requirements and maintaining consistent quality of goods and services. It offers a “process approach” (management of different individual activities as interconnected processes) to manage more than 20 processes.
If an organization is ISO 9001 certified, it shows that the company’s quality management system adheres and conforms to all requirements laid out under the standard.
The most accurate and updated information on the ISO certification processes can only be found on its official website. However, many accreditation bodies or teaching platforms also provide information on all the regulatory requirements of ISO.
Additionally, you can find many publications on the ISO website that detail specific standards. Training courses and webinars, templates for documentation, and guidance notes are even provided by some organizations to help you out with all the stages of ISO accreditations.
The ISO certification process and the first-time certification audit can take around three years. During this period, you will need to conduct a list of assessments such as document control, internal audits, and management review meetings to ensure the standard is in place.
However, implementing ISO standards help organizations in multiple ways. Some of the benefits of ISO standards are:
But, how can you get ISO certification?
Here’re the steps required to obtain ISO certification for your organization.
First, develop a relevant management system for your organization and decide which ISO standards you want your organization to be certified under. Each ISO standard has different requirements that need to be fulfilled to gain accreditation.
You need to perform the following activities at this stage:
Certification by ISO signifies that a management system, a service, a manufacturing process, or a documentation procedure has met all the quality assurance and requirements laid out under a specific standard. The 22,700 ISO standards are developed to ensure consistency and quality in global organizations in security, safety, and quality control areas.
The ISO standard benefits both the stakeholders and organizations in many ways. Organizations that are ISO certified can boost their reputations in the global market and increase productivity while ensuring that customers receive high-quality products and services. Earning ISO accreditation is a multi-step process that takes years. It starts from updating and checking your system to inviting external accredited auditors to test the implementation of the standard requirements in your organization and offer ISO certifications.
In addition to being a time-intensive process, ISO certification is also an expensive procedure. However, ensuring and checking every requirement by yourself from your side may reduce the expenses and time of your accreditation.
For labs, one approach is to produce reliable and accurate data for their product, which can be achieved by using effective procedures, expert personnel, and the use of quality reagents and equipment.
With Excedr’s leasing program, laboratories can access the latest equipment without impeding their budget. By leasing the equipment you need, you can save on upfront costs, speed up your research and development, and reach milestones faster. Contact us today to learn more.