ISO 9001:2008

ISO 9001:2008 Certification

ISO 9001 Certification

Welcome to our area devoted to the ISO 9001 Quality Management standard with separate section covering its history, thebenefits of certification, and what it costs to become certified.

ISO 9001 is for all organisations large or small and covers all sectors, including charities and the voluntary sector. It will help you to be more structured and organised.

In summary…

  • Suits all types of businesses, large or small

  • Improves business processes and reduces re-work

  • Proven to help win and retain business

ISO 9001 Certification Benefits

Most organisations want ISO 9001 certification to qualify for a tender or to achieve preferred supplier status: typically for a Local Authority or for a supply chain requirement.

There are many benefits to achieving ISO 9001 certification, including:

  • Greater success with tenders
  • Preferred contractor status
  • Reduced costs and re-work
  • Improved customer satisfaction and loyalty
  • Increased profitability
  • Competitive advantage

In addition, ISO 9001 is designed to be compatible with other management system standards such as ISO 14001 (Environmental), and OHSAS 18001 (Health and Safety) . All or any combination of these complementary standards can be integrated seamlessly. They share many principles, so choosing an integrated management system can provide you with outstanding value for money.

If you would like an integrated management system, comprising all or a combination of ISO management standards, simply let us know your requirements and we’ll provide you with a competitive quotation.

ISO 9001 Process

STEP 1: Preparation

If you are new to the ISO 9001 standard you may require some guidance before you start.  We run regular ISO training courses which include the official ISO handbook. When you’re ready, we’ll discuss your requirements  and provide you with a competitive quotation so you can budget accurately. Your quotation will be based upon factors such as your organisation’s activities, how many locations you operate from and how many people you employ.

STEP 2: Application

Once you decide to proceed, we’ll assign a Lead Assessor to you. He or she will be your principal contact throughout the registration process and beyond. They will build up detailed knowledge of your organisation and will be able to answer any questions you might have. Many of our clients start with a Pre-assessment. This optional service is where we review your current circumstances as part of a Gap Analysis and agree an action plan with you.

STEP 3: Pre-Audit Assessment

Your Lead Assessor will visit you to explain the standard and undertake a conformity assessment of your current arrangements for quality management. You will then receive a detailed report including all required actions. Together, you will then determine the appropriate timetable for your Audit Assessment.

STEP 4: Audit Assessment

Once you are ready for your formal Audit Assessment, your Lead Assessor will make the required arrangements for you. On completion, you will be informed of the Auditor’s recommendation before he or she leaves your premises.

STEP 5: Registration & Certificate

Following the Auditor’s recommendation, your registration will be reviewed and if approved your certification will be confirmed. Soon after, your certificate of conformity to the ISO 9001 standard will be issued and sent to you.

STEP 6: Continual Assessment

Having achieved certification, you’ll want to maintain your registration and your Lead Assessor will remain on hand to undertake the required annual reviews to ensure you continue to meet the requirements of ISO 9001.

ISO 9001 Costs

We work with clients of all sizes and even if you are a one person business, we can help. With no long term contract to tie you in, we provide an affordable, transparent route to achieving ISO 9001 certification.

Ultimately, your quotation will be based on factors such as your organisation’s activities, how many locations you operate from and how many people you employ (if any). We also operate a Small Business Service specifically for owner-managed businesses and we can promise that our certification services are keenly priced.

We provide all of our clients with a competitive quotation with no hidden extras. We won’t charge you for travel, registration fees or for your certificate (unlike many others). The only thing to add is VAT.

ISO 9001 Transfers

Already hold ISO 9001 certification but less than happy with your current certifier? Many think it’s difficult or impossible to switch their certification provider but with our hassle-free Express Transfer service, switching couldn’t be easier.

ISO 9001 History

Formalised quality assurance originally came from the Defence Industry’s need for standards. For example, to supply the Ministry of Defence (MoD) a company had to write up its procedure for making its product, have the procedure inspected by the MoD and then ensure that its workers followed the published procedures.

The idea of quality assurance spread beyond the military and in 1966, the UK Government led the first national campaign for quality and reliability with the slogan “Quality is everyone’s business.” However, by this time, suppliers were being assessed by any number of their customers and it was widely recognised that such duplication of effort was a chronic waste of time and money. Progress was finally made in 1969, when a UK Government committee report on the subject recommended that suppliers’ methods should be assessed against a generic standard of quality assurance.

In 1971, the British Standards Institute (BSI) published the first UK standard for quality assurance (BS 9000), which was developed for the electronics industry. Then, in 1974, the BSI published BS 5179; Guidelines for Quality Assurance. This led to a shift in the burden of inspection from the customer to the supplier, as quality assurance could be guaranteed by the supplier to the customer through third-party inspection.

Through the 1970′s, the BSI organized meetings with industry to set a common standard, which culminated in the BS 5750 standard in 1979. Key industry bodies agreed to drop their own standards and use BS 5750 instead. The purpose of BS5750 was to provide a common contractual document, demonstrating that industrial production was controlled.

The ISO 9000 certification standard has evolved over several revisions. The initial 1987 version (ISO 9000:1987) had the same structure as the UK Standard BS 5750, with three ‘models’ for quality management systems, the selection of which was based on the scope of activities of the organization. The language of this first version of the Standard was influenced by existing US and other Defense Military Standards, so it was more accessible to manufacturing and was well suited to the demands of a rigorous, stable, factory-floor manufacturing process. With its structure of twenty ‘elements’ or requirements, the emphasis tended to be overly placed on conformity with procedures rather than the overall process of management; which was the original intent.

The 1994 version (ISO 9000:1994) was an attempt to break from the practices which had somewhat clouded the use of the 1987 standard. It also emphasized quality assurance via preventive actions and continued to require evidence of compliance with documented procedures. Unfortunately, as with the first edition, companies tended to implement its requirements by creating shelf-loads of procedure manuals and become burdened with ISO bureaucracy. Adapting and improving processes could be particularly difficult in such an environment.

The 2000 version of the standard (ISO 9001:2000) sought to make a radical change in thinking. It placed the concept of process management at the heart of the standard, making it clear that the essential goals of the standard – which had always been about ‘a documented system’ not a ‘system of documents’ – were reinforced. The goal was always to have management system effectiveness via process performance measures. This third edition makes this more visible and so reduced the emphasis on having documented procedures if clear evidence could be presented to show that the process was working well. Expectations of continual process improvement and tracking customer satisfaction were also made explicit in this revision. A new set of eight core quality management principles, designed to act as a common foundation for all standards relating to quality management, were also introduced; namely:

  • Improved consistency with traceability
  • Enhanced customer focus
  • Focused leadership
  • The involvement of people
  • A system approach to management
  • Continual improvement
  • A factual approach to decision making
  • Mutually beneficial supplier relationships

ISO 9001 Why Choose Us?

Choosing a certification body can be confusing when, at face value, they all appear to be the same. However your choice is very important and given there is no mandatory regulation within the industry, you need to be sure to avoid the pitfalls of ending up with unaccredited certification. When you’re making a sizable investment you’ll obviously want best value but you need to ensure that your certification is widely recognised and accepted too.