Now, you’ve conducted the audit, made the plans, and implemented the quality system. What come next are the ISO certification process steps which you have to go through to get certified and this article will outline the entire process.

The ISO certification Process

The ISO certification process comes after a company’s ISO 9001 quality management system have been implementation and validated. The reason for registering a company is to show that it has met expectations and requirements by the standard. To do this you need to follow these essential steps.

Finding an ISO 9001 Registrar

The first of the ISO certification process steps is to start look for an ISO registrar which is initiated during the time your company is still creating its quality system. You can check the UKAS National Accreditation Board to choose the registrar that is right for you.

The Registrar must meet the expectations of the ISO Accreditation Bodies. These expectations include things like independence.

Selecting an ISO Registrar

When selecting a registrar, you need to choose one that has experience within the scope category of your company, keeping in mind scheduling issues, accreditation, comfort level and fees when choosing the registrar that is right for you.

Registrar credentials are a vital consideration. As you check through various registrars you will observe that some seem to be very restricted in scope just based on their names. All registrars must be qualified in a specific industrial sector so as to be able to certify a company in that sector. Some Registrars are qualified in various if not all sectors while others focus in certain sectors. The best way to assess a registrar’s qualifications for your industrial sector is to contact the registrar.

Creating an ISO Application

Next on the list of ISO certification process steps the company and selected registrar will agree on the application deal. This is a necessary step of the ISO certification process because it outlines the rights and obligations of both parties and includes confidentiality, liability issues, and rights.

Conducting a Quality Document Review

At this point, the registrar will need a copy of your procedures and quality manual to confirm that all the necessities of the standard are addressed. This Certification Process is not a fast process so you have to make sure you give two to four weeks up-front for the registrar to completely review all of the important documents.

Determining Pre-assessment Need

Although this is optional, the two to four weeks first review of the system detects any substantial omissions or faults, it helps save time and lets the registrar assess any problem and resolve logistics before the major assessment audit. The pre-assessment is a first review of your Quality Management System to recognize any important omissions or faults in the system and give your company the chance to correct any deficits before the major certification assessment is conducted.

Issuing an ISO Assessment

During the physical onsite inspection of processes in action or the audit, the auditors will issue findings if they assess anything that does not meet necessary requirements, or unconventionalities and the span of this ISO certification process step will be determined by the scope of the audit and the size your company. Overall, the flow of actions during the audit is as follows-

  1. Opening Meeting
  2. Brief tour of the facility
  3. Additional review of documents
  4. Examination
  5. Daily review
  6. Closing Meeting
  7. Audit Report issued

ISO Auditors

Auditors work with registrars to implement certification assessments and observations. The registrar’s role is to ensure that auditors meet required qualifications. The requirements are ISO 9001 training, training in auditing and at least a member of the audit team must have an understanding of and experience in the industrial sector of the company that is being audited.

Completing ISO 9001 Registration

When all of the findings included in the ISO audit report are addressed, your company has the choice to register as ISO 9001 conformant. You will then get a certificate and can also be recorded in a register, which can be used by the company to publicize its certification and use it in advertising.

Checking with Surveillance Audits

To make sure changes don’t result in deficits and the system is maintained correctly in the company, registrars execute yearly surveillance audits of the system. Then after the three-year period of your certificate, the auditors will make one complete check of your system. These 9 ISO certification process steps make up the process from implementing your quality management system to obtaining the certificate.