Many organisations achieve ISO 9001 Certification as a first step in their Management System journey because the standard for Quality Management provides a framework for understanding the processes of your organisation. Assent can help you to achieve Certification with a UKAS accredited body.
What is ISO 9001 Certification?
You may recognise the ISO 9001 Certification mark from vehicle signage, websites, letterheads and other materials, as those who have implemented a Quality Management System and successfully achieved Certification proudly display their achievement.
ISO 9001 Certification is a common requirement when tendering for larger contracts because it demonstrates a structured, process approach to Quality Management and the organisation in general. It can be an easy way to shortlist suppliers in the early stages.
Certification with a UKAS accredited body also demonstrates that your Quality Management System has been independently audited and meets the requirements of the ISO 9001 Standard.
People can confuse ISO 9001 Certification, assuming that it is the product that has been certified, however, the Standard is applied to the management processes of the organisation. These processes include how customer feedback is obtained, how complaints are handled and how the organisation’s outputs are verified.
Finding ISO 9001 Certification Bodies
There are many different Certification Bodies available who are accredited by UKAS and each has different specialities and pricing.
We recommend using UKAS accredited ISO 9001 Certification Bodies, as this provides an impartial approach to auditing your system, UKAS is the only accreditation body recognised by the UK Government.
Assent can guide you through the process of selecting the right Certification Body for you, and can help you manage a tender process between several bodies.
How long does ISO 9001 Certification take?
While the process of implementing and embedding a Quality Management System to ISO 9001 will vary depending on the scope and complexity of your processes, ISO 9001 Certification can be achieved relatively quickly.
It’s important to ensure your organisation is ready for Certification before proceeding. This means having at least 3 months of evidence and records to show the Quality Management System has been operating.
Certification then takes place on two stages.
Stage 1 is a ‘document check’ and has been designed to ensure that mandatory requirements are in place. During the Stage 1 Audit, it is less likely that the Auditor will test the process of the Management System. The Stage 1 Audit provides an opportunity to understand how an organisation has built its system and a plan for the stage 2.
Stage 2 is usually a longer audit and involves the Auditor looking for objective evidence that the ISO 9001 Management System is operating effectively.
This can include things like training records, supplier evaluations, feedback results, complaints, sales orders, delivery notes and so on.
Most ISO 9001 Certification Bodies apply a maximum time limit between Stage 1 and Stage 2 audits to ensure no major changes happen in between.
How can Assent help?
We help businesses implement Quality Management Systems that meet their needs, ultimately leading to Certification.
There are a number of ways we can approach this including managing a full implementation project, providing a gap analysis report or remote support through our service desk and supporting materials.
We will help you choose the right ISO 9001 Certification Body for your organisation and attend the Certification Audits to help you keep everything on track.