David Burton and Paul Roberts of Metroline Security working on obtaining ISO 9001 Accreditation

David Burton and Paul Roberts of Metroline Security working on obtaining ISO 9001 Accreditation 2018

ISO What Is Involved

So we recently published a blog looking at how an ISO:9001 Certification could help you win more business (see blog here), but what is involved in actually achieving the certification?

Well here’s a little bit of an idea of what’s involved…..

The first thing to say is that obtaining your ISO certification will require an investment from you and your team – an investment in time, money and effort. Some of these costs can be reduced by using a consultant like QBH Solutions either for training so that your team can deliver the certification themselves or through engaging a consultant to work with you and oversee the different stages of the process.

Stage One
Documenting your Quality Management System

The first stage to becoming certified is to develop and document your processes – YOUR management system. It’s really important that you involve your team in evaluating and documenting your processes and procedures so that you capture the way things actually work. It’s also a good opportunity to review the processes – just to ensure they are fit for purpose.

Once the procedures are documented and approved, make sure that you disseminate them to everyone in the team so that everyone is following the same process/standard.

Stage Two
Implementing and Embedding your Quality Management System

Having defined and documented your processes with great procedures, it’s really important that your team are trained properly for the roles that they are undertaking.

Your quality management system should have effective training plans in place for your staff and a rigorous review process to cover inspection, testing, corrective actions and preventative checks as well as management review meetings and statistical data to support your evaluation and to formalise how you manage your processes.

This structure will enable you to identify strengths and weaknesses Please see SWOT Blog here within your quality management system and improve areas where necessary.

Stage Three
Audit and Certificate Your System

The final stage is to select the appropriate auditing body for your external registration – ISO is the Certification body but you need to have an independent audit body to assess whether your business is meeting the requirements of the standard. We would always recommend considering a UKAS accredited certification body.

Having selected the auditing body, you submit your management system documentation for review to ensure that it is compliant with the ISO 9001 standard. Once they have reviewed and are happy with the documents they will book you in for your Stage 1 audit. This audit looks at the documentation making sure that it meets the standard and then highlight any areas for improvement. You then have an opportunity to fix any issues before the Stage 2 audit.

The Stage 2 (certification audit) is where the auditor will look at the implementation of the system, procedures and processes and how they are being used in your business. Any areas for improvement will be highlighted as non-conformances (NCRs) and in most cases minor non-conformances can be corrected before the next audit. Major non-conformances have to be corrected within 30 days.

It sounds scary but it really isn’t – the auditors are just there to confirm that your quality management system meets the requirements of the ISO standard.

That’s about it – until the follow up audit 12 months down the line!!!! We’ll be publishing a blog in the next few weeks looking at how to stay on top of your Quality Management System so that you pass your annual audit with flying colours, so do keep an eye out for that.

Further information about ISO 9001 and what is involved can be found in our little vlog on our YouTube channel: ISO, what’s involved

If you’d like more information on the ISO Training courses we run (these can be bespoke for your business) or the different levels of consultancy support that QBH Solutions offer then please get in touch with the team on 0330 229 0885 or by email on info@qbhsolutions.co.uk

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