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What Is ISO 9001?
ISO 9001 is an internationally recognized quality management system standard that is overseen by the International Organization for Standardization. It is part of the ISO family of quality management standards that were designed to help organisations across the globe meet their customers and regulatory needs. ISO 9001 is a powerful business tool that is designed to help businesses continually improve in areas such as:
Staff recruitment and retention
ISO 9001 was first developed in 1987 and has been continually developed since this date, the latest version being ISO 9001:2015. To date, more than one million organisations both private and public sector have undergone ISO 9001 accreditation in more than 160 countries across the globe.
What Is The Difference Between ISO 9000 and ISO 9001?
You may often hear the term ISO 9000 being used to refer to the set of ISO quality management system documents. The key to understanding their relationship is that ISO 9000 is a general guidance document for the fundamentals of a quality management system whereas ISO 9001 is the document is the document that contains the specific requirements for quality management systems. It is ISO 9001 that organisations gain accreditation to.
What Are The Contents Of ISO 9001:2015?
The actual ISO 9001:2015 document is 30 pages long, the sections being as follows:
Section 1: Scope
Section 2: Normative references
Section 3: Terms and definitions
Section 4: Context of the organization
Section 5: Leadership
Section 6: Planning
Section 7: Support
Section 8: Operation
Section 9: Performance evaluation
Section 10: Improvement
ISO 9001:2015 retains the same scope as previous versions however the structure has been modified to allow the standards to integrate more easily with other international management standards. It also as a greater focus on performance and is generally less prescriptive than previous versions.
Benefits of ISO 9001:2015
Organisations who choose to go for ISO 9001 certification for their quality management system usually find a number of benefits. These include:
Increase in business performance and productivity
Improved customer satisfaction
Confidence in meeting all regulatory requirements
Consistent delivery of products and service quality
More effective use of resources
These in turn can result in increased revenues and market share. As well as specific benefits to an organisation though, there is generally a multilayered change for the better thanks to the issue of quality being brought to the fore.
Getting ISO 9001 Certified
To get ISO 9001 certified, an organisation needs to be audited by an approved certification body as the International Organization for Standardization does not certify organisations itself. Following a full planning stage for ISO 9001, organisations are audited on their implementation of ISO 9001:2015 which involves:
Setting measurable performance measures
Development of key documents including:
Control of Documents Procedure
Control of Records Procedure
Control of Nonconformances Procedure
Internal Audit Procedure
Corrective Action Procedure
Preventive Action Procedure
Once accreditation has been achieved, it is not for life and it must be renewed at regular intervals, usually once every three years. There are no grades or levels of ISO 9001, an organization is either certified or not.
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