5 Steps to Achieve ISO 9000 Certification

ISO 9000 is a set of quality standards determined by the International Organization for Standardization to assure that businesses meet a high level of quality with products, services, organizational processes and ethics. Consumers can be assured that products and services purchased from an ISO 9000 certified company meet quality standards. There is also a commitment to continual improvement by certified companies. The quality standards are recognized worldwide. The ISO 9000 certification is a stamp of credibility for the company in the eyes of consumers. The following five steps are required for ISO 9000 Certification.

  1. Management Agrees and Appoints Steering Committee: Company leaders must agree on the benefits of ISO 9000 Certification and commit to the process. Management appoints a steering committee to oversee the process. The committee checks the availability of registrars and costs involved. The committee reports findings to management. 
  2. Prepare Manuals: With an understanding of the ISO 9000 requirements, write a mission statement for the company. Prepare a Quality Policy Manual and an Operating Procedures Manual as per ISO compliance requirements. The Operating Procedures Manual should define the functions and responsibilities of each job in the company. 
  3. Inform and Train Employees: Inform employees of the decision for ISO 9000 Certification. Schedule mandatory ISO 9000 Training Sessions for employees as needed. Select internal auditors and train. Hold an internal audit and take corrective measures as indicated. 
  4. Select A Third Party Registrar: Management selects a third party registrar. Application is completed for registration and audits. Accounting Department pays all necessary fees. The auditor will review all company documents for ISO compliance. The document approval process may be completed on or off company grounds. A pre-assessment audit is scheduled and completed. Auditors report initial findings to management. Corrective measures are completed. The pre-assessment is a dress rehearsal for the main event. 
  5. Complete ISO 9000 Certification Process: Schedule the ISO 9000 Certification Audit with registrar. Auditors will report findings to management. Corrective measures should be completed in a timely fashion. A closing meeting is held and certification is obtained. Re-audit as required. 

*Photo courtesy of Business People by Mark Leslie at Flickr’s Creative Commons.


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