If you check the profile of any good company, you will see them proudly displaying their ISO certification. So what is this ISO certification and why is it necessary? Let us learn more in this post, about ISO certification and process of getting it.
ISO certification is a set of approval from a third party which certifies that a management system, documentation procedure, manufacturing process or service has all the requirements for standardization and quality assurance.
What is ISO?
The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) is an organization which established in 1946 by 25 civil engineers to make specification consistent across different countries of Europe. Today, ISO has diversified itself into several domains and it currently has almost 30,000 different standards ranging from quality, manufacturing, safety, pharmaceuticals, etc.
Nine Most Popular ISO Standards
ISO 9001 Quality Management
This is one of the standards of ISO 9000 family. ISO 9000 series covers quality management. While there are few standards in this family, this is the only one which you can be certified in. Every organization seeking certification in quality management should have this certification. This standard was first published in 1987 and last updated on 2015. The standard details how the quality management system of your organization should be in place to produce quality products and services. It is customer focused and places an emphasis on continuous improvement and top management processes. The focus of this standard has now shifted to risk management. This standard is generic and can be used in any organization and across any sector.
In principle this standard has following objectives:
- To ensure that the products and services are provided as defined.
- To establish a system in place that monitors the effectiveness of the quality management system, processes, procedures and their outputs to detect non- conforming products and services.
- To ensure that the roles and responsibilities of the management system are clearly defined.
- To ensure a system of continuous improvement.
ISO 14001 Environment Management
ISO 14001 is one of the standards from ISO 14000 family which sets standards for environment management. Although there are many standards in this family but this is the one in which your organization can be certified. This standard emphasizes the establishment of an environment management system and based on continuous improvement model PDCA (Plan- Do- Check- Act). The organizations, which want to improve their processes for environment management go for this certification, though this certification is voluntary. Some organizations integrate this with the quality management system (QMS) and refer to it as Integrated Management System (IMS).
This standard mainly focuses to:
- Reduce waste
- Comply legal regulations
- Reduce impact on environment
- Reduce risk
- Reduce cost
ISO 27001 Information Security
Today information technology is present in every aspect of life and is being used in every organization. ISO 27001 is a standard from ISO 27000 family which concerns with information technology. Two popular standards of this family are ISO 27001 and ISO 27002. ISO 27001 is management based system while ISO 27002 is a technical document. ISO 27001 is designed for information security management.
The main focus areas of this standard are following:
- Confidentiality- Only authorized person should have access to the information of the organization.
- Information Integrity- Only trained and authorized persons should change the records.
- Availability- The information should always be available on demand.
ISO 50001 Energy Management
This is one of the newest standards and is becoming increasingly important now a day. This standard was released in 2011 and emphasize on the requirement of establishing an energy management system (EMS) to improve energy usage and efficiency within an organization.
This standard mainly focuses on following:
- Reducing greenhouse gas emission
- Reducing cost of energy
ISO 44001 Collaborative Working
Today the companies are focusing on specialization. Instead of working everything on its own, the specialized companies are collaborating and working together to produce best product or service with minimum cost. Many projects are using more than one entity to complete it. ISO 44001 is a standard to establish and manage agreed working practices.
This standard is based on core values of ISO 9001 and focuses on the following:
- Awareness and communication
- Planning and identifying the benefits of other parties and developing a business case
- Developing value
- Managing the relationships
- Exit strategy
ISO 22000 Food Safety Management System
This standard is related to development and implementation of food safety management system. It is useful for the organizations operating the food chain business. This family has many standards including 22001 for food and drink and 22002 for food manufacturing. Food manufacturing companies, restaurants, caterers, food transportation companies, etc. opt for this standard.
ISO 13485 Medical Equipment Standard
This standard was published in 2003 and revised in 2016. This standard is related to the production of medical devices and equipment. This standard focuses on establishment of a quality management system for manufacturing of medical equipment and devices and is related to health industry only. It is often implemented with ISO 9001.
ISO 31000 Risk Management
Risk management is crucial for every business. ISO 31000 is a standard which focuses on putting in place a risk management system to manage risks effectively. This standard was published in 2009. It empowers an organization to identify threats and allocate resources in an efficient manner to manage and mitigate risks.
ISO 26000 released in 2010 and it focuses on social responsibility. This standard does not provide certification but provides guidance on how the organizations can operate in a socially responsible manner. This standard help organizations identifying social responsibilities and to establish a system so that the organizations can fulfill their social obligations effectively.
ISO standards are globally recognized standards which certify that the management systems, documentation, processes, quality management system of an organization consist of all the requirements for standardization and quality assurance. The organizations having these standards attract more customers because the customers feel confident and safe in consuming products and services from the organizations having these certifications.
These certifications are not mandatory as there is no legal requirement for these certificates, however, some clients or customers do not make business with a supplier who do not hold ISO certification. These certificates instill trust on customers and are beneficial for establishing and maintaining standard systems and processes in an organization, therefore these standards are popular worldwide.