3 Things You Should Know About ISO 9001

Posted by Sarah Hope

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Elevate your quality management system with ISO 9001. Standardised processes are important for large corporations and small businesses alike. They help to deliver the highest quality products and services to customers.  

ISO 9001 certification enables you to concentrate on a variety of aspects of your business related to quality management. This includes leadership as well as continuous improvement, to make sure a suitable structure is in place. 

What are the benefits of ISO 9001? Fulfilling all the requirements and attaining your ISO 9001 certification can have a great impact on your organisation.  

First, it will help to build credibility within your industry so others know that you are dedicated to offering quality services and products. It also helps to boost efficiency and productivity as all processes are streamlined for optimal success. Finally, it allows you analyse areas of potential risk to implement the proper corrective actions to create a safer work environment. 

Read on to explore three things you should know about ISO 9001: 

  • What is ISO 9001 
  • ISO 9001 requirements
  • How to get ISO 9001 Certification


What is ISO 9001

Let’s start at the very beginning. What is ISO 9001? ISO 9001 is an international standard which is part of the larger ISO 9000 family. It outlines different requirements needed for a proper quality management system.  

Since it’s inception in 1987, this standard aims to help different organisations strengthen their processes and implement methods of continuous improvement. The most updated is known as the 9001:2015 standard. 

ISO 9001 requirements 

To become certified, businesses need to fulfil specific ISO 9001 requirements. These are organised into 10 separate clauses. Clauses one to three just contain information, while the remaining contain requirements which must be fulfilled to achieve certification: 

1. Scope 

The first clause outlines the scope of the ISO 9001:2015 standard. It contains information regarding the necessary requirements and explains that organisations must be able to demonstrate how they can deliver quality products and services.  

2. Normative references 

The second clause on normative references explains any references used within this standard.  

3. Terms and definitions  

You guessed it! This section discusses the terms and definitions seen in ISO 9001, as stated in the name. 

4. Context of the organisation 

Clause 4 is where we start getting into the requirements you need to fulfil. First, you must understand the context of your organisation. Think about and outline: 

  • Business goals 
  • Key stakeholders 
  • Customers 
  • All processes 
  • Issues or challenges  
5. Leadership  

Next, we get into leadership commitment. All leaders must be committed to this quality management system. This is done by setting objectives for your quality management system, assigning roles to key members, and making sure everything is communicated to employees.  

6. Planning 

Now, you must start planning out your execution process with key stakeholders. Set objectives and document how you will achieve them. During this time, you should also analyse potential risks within your processes, identify corrective actions needed, and any areas of improvement.  

7. Support

Ensure all the right support is provided to achieve a quality management system. This includes the right people, environment, resources, systems and communication channels.  

8. Operation  

Here, you must outline methods of operation to deliver quality products and services, including: 

  • Plan and outline processes needed to deliver quality services and products 
  • State requirements needed for products and services 
  • Inspection of raw materials 
  • Make sure any external processes fulfil requirements and are controlled  
  • Conditions for production  
  • Methods for communicating with customers 
  • And much more 

Click here to discover more. 

9. Performance evaluation

How do you measure success? This clause outlines that you must assess and analyse how well your quality management system is working. Make sure your methods for evaluating your success are documented to fulfil this requirement.

10. Improvement 

Finally, provide evidence that you have a method in place to improve any processes or difficulties outlined with the necessary corrective actions. This will help you build a stronger quality management system that will help elevate your processes.  

 How to get ISO 9001 certification 

You might be thinking, what does the certification process actually entail?  

Allow us to break it down: 

  • First, make sure that you have fulfilled all the requirements mentioned above by implementing a quality management system. This initiative is often led by someone within the organisation and sometimes a team. 
  • Then, it must be audited by a certified auditor against the ISO 9001 standard. This is done by evaluating the quality management system itself and through an on-site audit. You need to show three months' worth of documents and records of your quality management system at work. 
  • If you receive ISO 9001 certification, it will be valid for three years. This can take anywhere from three months to over a year, depending on how prepared you are.  
  • After the three years have passed, you will need to renew your certification to maintain compliance.   

Check out, 7 Things You Need to Achieve Quality Management Compliance: The Essential Checklist to discover more.  


Where to Find Expert Support

We know that this can be an overwhelming process, so let us help you! Mango, EcoOnline’s cloud-based compliance management solution, can help you centralise all your quality management information in one platform to reduce the administrative burden of managing a paper-based system. Gain a 360-degree view into your compliance needs and easily pinpoint areas of improvement, so you can quickly take action.  

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Gillian Watson, HSEQ Advisor - JBW Building Services 

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Tags: HSEQ Software, QHSE Software, QHSE Compliance System, Compliance Management, QHSE Management