Why should we consider certification to ISO 9001?

ISO 9001 isn’t a legal requirement; it is completely voluntary.

However, organisations may choose to implement the standard and obtain 3rd party certification for a number of reasons, including:

  • key customers are now demanding certification as a pre-requisite to doing business
  • tender documents require evidence of desertification in order for it to progress to the ‘next round’
  • industry pressure means certification should be obtained to continue to practice in the chosen area
  • the need to demonstrate commitment to customers needs and the ability to meet their requirements

Certification adds value to organisations in many ways, including:

  • clarification and transparency in how business is conducted
  • improvements to how tasks are performed
  • reduced costs
  • increased new and repeat business
  • improved productivity and efficiency

Certification to ISO 9001 allows a company to recognised as taking quality (their customers’ needs) seriously. It is a standard and therefore sets a very high level that only organisations who are committed will achieve. Some companies compare certification to an ‘elite club’.

However, I have had several clients who are committed to quality and have met the requirements of the standard but had no need for certification. The standard represents excellent business practice, and so has a lot to offer every company, regardless of whether certification is a requirement.

So, it all depends on the motivation. If it’s coming from external markets and customers, then it would be reasonable to consider certification. If there is little pressure externally but a clear wish to ‘do better’, then the standard can be used as an internal guide for improvement.

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