Welcome to our area devoted to the ISO 9001 Quality Management standard with separate section covering its history, the benefits, and costs to become certified.
ISO 9001 is for all organisations governments, large or small and covers all sectors, including charities and the voluntary sector. It aims to help organisations become structured and efficient.
- Suits all types of businesses, large or small (companies as small as 3 to 4 employees to thousands of employees enterprise)
- Builds trust in clients, partners and investors
- Improves business processes and reduces re-work
- Proven to help win and retain business
ISO 9001 Certification Process
STEP 1: Preparation
If you are new to the ISO 9001 standard you may require some guidance before you start. We provide you and your management overview benefit of implementation. When you’re ready, we’ll discuss your requirements and provide you with a competitive quotation so you can budget accurately. Your quotation will be based upon factors such as your organisation’s activities, how many locations you operate from and how many people you employ.
Once you are ready to start, it’s important that you familiarise yourself with the requirements of the standard
STEP 2: Application
Once you decide to proceed, we’ll assign a Consultant to you. He or she will be your principal contact throughout the registration process and beyond. They will build up detailed knowledge of your organisation and will be able to answer any questions you might have. Many of our clients start with a Pre-assessment. This optional service is where we review your current circumstances as part of a Gap Analysis and agree an action plan with you.
STEP 3: Pre-Audit Assessment (known as Stage 1)
GYR Consultant will visit you to explain the standard and undertake a conformity assessment of your current arrangements for quality management. You will then receive a detailed report including all required actions. Together, you will then determine the appropriate timetable for your Audit Assessment.
STEP 4: Audit Assessment (known as Stage 2)
Once you are ready for your formal Audit Assessment, your GYR Consultant will make the required arrangements for you. On completion, you will be informed of the Auditor’s recommendation before he or she leaves your premises.
STEP 5: Registration & Certificate
Following the Auditor’s recommendation, your registration will be reviewed and if approved your certification will be confirmed. Soon after, your certificate of conformity to the ISO 9001 standard will be issued and sent to you.
STEP 6: Continual Assessment
Having achieved certification, you’ll want to maintain your registration and your Lead Assessor will remain on hand to undertake the required annual reviews to ensure you continue to meet the requirements of ISO 9001.
ISO 9001 History
Formalised quality assurance originally came from the Defence Industry’s need for standards. For example, to supply the Ministry of Defence (MoD) a company had to write up its procedure for making its product, have the procedure inspected by the MoD and then ensure that its workers followed the published procedures.
The idea of quality assurance spread beyond the military and in 1966, the UK Government led the first national campaign for quality and reliability with the slogan “Quality is everyone’s business.” However, by this time, suppliers were being assessed by any number of their customers and it was widely recognised that such duplication of effort was a chronic waste of time and money. Progress was finally made in 1969, when a UK Government committee report on the subject recommended that suppliers’ methods should be assessed against a generic standard of quality assurance.
In 1971, the British Standards Institute (BSI) published the first UK standard for quality assurance (BS 9000), which was developed for the electronics industry. Then, in 1974, the BSI published BS 5179; Guidelines for Quality Assurance. This led to a shift in the burden of inspection from the customer to the supplier, as quality assurance could be guaranteed by the supplier to the customer through third-party inspection.
Through the 1970’s, the BSI organised meetings with industry to set a common standard, which culminated in the BS 5750 standard in 1979. Key industry bodies agreed to drop their own standards and use BS 5750 instead. The purpose of BS5750 was to provide a common contractual document, demonstrating that industrial production was controlled.
The ISO 9000 certification standard has evolved over several revisions. The initial 1987 version (ISO 9000:1987) had the same structure as the UK Standard BS 5750, with three ’models’ for quality management systems, the selection of which was based on the scope of activities of the organisation. The language of this first version of the Standard was influenced by existing US and other Defence Military Standards, so it was more accessible to manufacturing and was well suited to the demands of a rigorous, stable, factory-floor manufacturing process. With its structure of twenty ’elements’ or requirements, the emphasis tended to be overly placed on conformity with procedures rather than the overall process of management; which was the original intent.
The 1994 version (ISO 9000:1994) was an attempt to break from the practices which had somewhat clouded the use of the 1987 standard. It also emphasised quality assurance via preventive actions and continued to require evidence of compliance with documented procedures. Unfortunately, as with the first edition, companies tended to implement its requirements by creating shelf-loads of procedure manuals and become burdened with ISO bureaucracy. Adapting and improving processes could be particularly difficult in such an environment.
The 2000 version of the standard (ISO 9001:2000) sought to make a radical change in thinking. It placed the concept of process management at the heart of the standard, making it clear that the essential goals of the standard – which had always been about ’a documented system’ not a ’system of documents’ – were reinforced. The goal was always to have management system effectiveness via process performance measures. This third edition makes this more visible and so reduced the emphasis on having documented procedures if clear evidence could be presented to show that the process was working well. Expectations of continual process improvement and tracking customer satisfaction were also made explicit in this revision. A new set of eight core quality management principles, designed to act as a common foundation for all standards relating to quality management, were also introduced; namely
- Improved consistency with traceability
- Enhanced customer focus
- Focused leadership
- The involvement of people
- A system approach to management
- Continual improvement
- A factual approach to decision making
- Mutually beneficial supplier relationships
The fourth and current edition of the standard (ISO 9001:2008) arrived on November 14th 2008. This revision contains minor amendments only. The aim of this revision is to clarify existing requirements and to improve consistency of approach with other management standards, like ISO 14001:2004.
It has been announced that ISO are working on the ISO 9001:2015 revision of the standard to bring it up to date and reflect latest quality management good practice. However, fundamentally the standard will stay the same and, as such, migration to ISO 9001:2015 should not bring much overheads.
ISO 9001 Certification Benefits
The wide-ranging benefits of ISO 9001 are why the quality management standard has been implemented by millions of organisations across the globe.
Designed to create a more disciplined work environment, ISO 9001 will help your workforce know exactly who does what, when and how. This saves time and cost by reducing mistakes, consequently helping to improve customer service. The Major Reasons Companies go for ISO 9001 accreditation are:
- Because Your Customers Say You Have To
- Your Competitors Are Doing It
- To Get One Step Ahead of The Competition
- The Need to Restructure Your Business
- To Open up New Markets
- To Get on Approved Suppliers Lists
- To Get the Logo on Their Vehicles or Letterheads to Impress
- Potential Customers
A business winner
Maintaining a quality-led philosophy is exactly why ISO 9001 is stipulated within tenders. With buying authorities seeking to establish that their suppliers are reliable, asking for an internationally recognised standard eliminates the need to assess every single potential supplier. Having an ISO 9001 certificate saves your work too, allowing you to skip many lengthy pre-qualification process questions.
Improved internal processes
The standard’s intention is to improve internal working in order to help you achieve greater consistency and quality of service. Together with improving what you already have in place, this is done by replacing bad or even non-existing processes with ones that are relevant, functional and documented. The results are greater efficiency and productivity, linking to increased profitability.
ISO 9001 is also aimed at achieving customer satisfaction by setting out what needs to be in place in order to consistently meet customer requirements. In a tough economic climate, retaining clients is vital; ISO 9001 will help you to do so.
In addition, ISO 9001 is designed to be compatible with other ISO management system standards such as ISO 14001 (Environmental), OHSAS 18001 (Health and Safety) and ISO 27001 (Information Security). All or any combination of these complementary standards can be integrated seamlessly. By sharing many principles, choosing an integrated management system can reduce cost considerably.
ISO 9001 Certification Costs
We work with clients of all sizes and even if you are a one person business, we can help. With no long term contract to tie you in, we provide an affordable, transparent route to achieving ISO 9001 certification.
“Many of small/medium and large businesses have achieved ISO certification with us, helping them to improve and win new business. We understand small businesses and with SMEs forming the majority of our client base, it’s easy to see why. We’re told they like our friendly, straightforward approach and enjoy our award-winning service.
Our ISO Small Business Service is keenly priced and tailor-made for firms with 10 employees or less. Being accredited to Customer Service Excellence and Investors, you can rest assured that our high level of service isn’t compromised either.
Ultimately, your quotation will be based on factors such as your organisation’s activities, how many locations you operate from and how many people you employ (if any). We also operate a Small Business Service specifically for owner-managed businesses.