ISO 9001 is an international standard-setting body that examines organisations to ensure that they can offer quality services. It is a system of auditing of organisations. It was first established in 1987. There are so many firms world over that specialise in certifying bodies and they are contracted to do so. For a single organisation, it happens from time to time, not a one-off activity.
It suggests measures for nonconforming organisations on how they can improve their positions and strategies. Such an organisation is denied the certificate until it conforms to the seven principles of quality management discussed below. If an organisation has obeyed the seven principles of quality management, it is issued with an ISO Certification Certificate for display.
It helps the firms to satisfy the customer needs, develop or improve itself, build a resistant business, create a huge sense of effective and efficient management of the firm and effective coordination with the suppliers and the stakeholders of the organisation.
It sets standards to ensure that they can meet the requirements of their customers and stakeholders. The requirements could be statutory or regulatory concerning the provision of goods and services. It looks into the essential qualities of the management systems that the organisation in question must obey.
The standards can be derived from the seven features or qualities of management principles. It is the most used tool of quality control used all over the world.
The principles looked at include focus on the customer, motivation and its relevance on the senior management, the strategies, evaluation measures and the improvement measures used. It ensures that the customers can get goods or services of high quality which are consequently beneficial to the business.
The management principles considered are the customer care, leadership, improvement, engagement of the stakeholders, approach on the processes, relationship management and making of decisions founded on evidence.
Organisations require it to ensure that their quality management tools are still useful. Independent bodies of certification can be used to ascertain that the quality measures are followed. Certification can also be a source of prestige and tool to create confidence with the customers of a given organisation. Organisations can only be certified for one scope.
The International standards organisation has developed a broad spectrum of interpretations or versions for the various industries like medicine, education, engineering, law plus so many others. In every industry, it has set up parameters for every one of them to assess the firms in the sectors. These parameters are reviewed periodically to ensure that they are relevant because of the changing environments in the modern world. The ISO standards have evolved over the years to cope with changes.
Some of these changes have been the inclusion of principles based on knowledge, changes on systems that suit similar organisations, demand for accountability for those at the top leadership of the organisations, freedom on organisations of deciding what information to include or not more sensitive levels of structures in the form of clauses.
They help businesses to expand to new markets and explore new opportunities, help organisations identify and react to any risks they encounter, ensure consistent customer satisfaction, help organisations to conform to the necessary statutory and regulatory measures among other benefits.
Therefore, for an organisation of whatever kind to do well, it needs audits by the ISO for the benefits as mentioned above.
For additional information, take ISO 9001 courses and training to properly carry out the requirements for this certification.