What is an ISO 9001 certification in quality management?
An ISO 9001 certification is a conformity assessment. Many companies that are new to the subject of quality management certainly aim for a QM certificate. But what does this term stand for? After all, what can one imagine under the definition and what is the purpose of quality management certification according to ISO 9001? As already mentioned at the beginning, certification is a form of conformity test. This means that the fulfillment of the requirements that are placed on a product, a process, a system or a person is checked. An example of a conformity assessment that can be carried out by a manufacturer’s declaration or a certification body is the GS mark for tested safety.
A definition can be found in DIN EN ISO / IEC 17000: 2004 Conformity Assessment – General Terms and Basics. According to this, certification is a “measure by an impartial third party that shows that there is reasonable confidence that a properly designated product, process or properly designated service is in accordance with a specific standard or a specific other normative document.”
What are the advantages of the certification of a quality management system according to ISO 9001?
Certification according to DIN EN ISO 9001, just like a manufacturer or self-declaration, is a form of conformity assessment. Nevertheless, there are differences between these conformity assessments. A manufacturer’s declaration has the disadvantage that it lacks credibility and objectivity. As the name suggests, in the case of a self-declaration or a manufacturer’s declaration, the conformity assessment is carried out by the manufacturer himself. It is difficult for external persons or customers to understand whether the requirements are actually met. Quality management ISO 9001 certification or certification in general is intended to counteract this problem, since the conformity is carried out by a third, independent party.
Unfortunately, the term certification is not protected, so any person or organization can carry out an ISO 9001 certification. However, you can protect yourself and your company from “wrong” certifiers by resorting to an accredited organization when choosing a certification body. The term accreditation means that the competence of a certification organization to carry out specific tasks has been formally recognized .In Germany, accreditation is regulated in accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 765/2008 in the Accreditation Body Act (AkkStelleG). The only national accreditation body located in Germany is the DAkkS – the German accreditation body. An accredited certification body offers you not only the credibility of your ISO 9001 quality management certificate but also other advantages. If you have implemented an energy management system in accordance with ISO 50001 in your company, you can only benefit from tax advantages such as the EEG surcharge or peak compensation if your energy management system has a certificate from an accredited certification body.
What are the areas of application for QM certification?
If you have your quality management system certified, it is a system certification. However, there are also other areas of application. In the following, we will briefly introduce you to these areas of application.
- Product certification
A product certification is given when an independent body verifies the fulfillment of quality requirements placed on a product.
certification Certification of a (management) system means that it is checked whether a system meets the requirements of a system-relevant standard or another set of rules, e.g. certification of an ISO 9001 quality management system , ISO 50001 energy management system , ISO 14001 environmental management system or ISO 45001 occupational health and safety management system
certification In the case of personnel certification, the competence of an individual is checked on the basis of defined quality requirements; e.g. certification from the quality management officer ( QMB ) or environmental management officer (UMB).
How do you find an ISO 9001 certification body?
Within the certification process, the selection of the certifier or the search for a suitable ISO 9001 certification body play an important role. First of all, it is important to differentiate whether a system, person or product certification is to be carried out, since different certification bodies can be commissioned depending on the type of certification. For example, if you want to have a quality management system certified according to ISO 9001, you should commission a certification body that specializes in quality management systems. Even after this initial narrowing down, you can still choose between a large number of certification authorities, which does not make the search that easy.
What should you watch out for when choosing an ISO 9001 certification body?
When choosing an ISO 9001 certifier, you should pay attention to its accreditation. In this way you ensure the credibility and objectivity of your quality management system in front of government authorities and customers. In order to receive accreditation, organizations have to meet various requirements that guarantee high-quality work. The objectivity of an accredited certification body is thus ensured by the accreditation.
Conduct initial discussions after an initial selection of possible QM certifiers
After an initial pre-selection of various certification bodies has been made, you should invite the certification bodies in question to an initial meeting so that they can get to know them better. This gives you the opportunity to directly compare the various ISO 9001 certifiers. As in almost all areas, the chemistry between all those involved should also be right with ISO 9001 certification. In addition, make sure that not only the accredited certification organization but also the certification auditor fits you and your company. Rely on your gut feeling, because a good interpersonal relationship also forms the basis for a successful cooperation.
Obtain offers and draw up a contract with the selected ISO 9001 certifier
After getting to know the individual certification organizations in the initial meeting, get the offers from those organizations that are still eligible for your quality management certification. In order to be able to estimate the effort of the certification, the ISO 9001 certification body collects further company-specific information with the help of a questionnaire and finally creates an offer on this basis. Normally, all components of the three-year certification cycle are covered in this offer. After checking out the quotes from the various certification bodies, it is time for you to make an informed decision. As soon as you have accepted an offer and thus commissioned an accredited certification body, the certification process begins.