What is ISO?
What is ISO? The International Organization for Standardization, or ISO, is a non-governmental organization that specifies products, services, and systems for quality and efficiency.
ISO certification builds credibility and trust among consumers, shareholders and other business partners. This article is written to complete the article What is ISO and we will discuss what ISO is, why it is important and how to get ISO certification.
What is ISO certification and is it right for you?
ISO certification is a third-party confirmation that you meet ISO standards. If your answer to all or some of the following questions is positive, then you need to obtain ISO:
- Would you like your business to be worth 20% more?
- Would you like to make more profit?
- Are there areas of your business that could be more efficient?
- Can improving customer satisfaction improve your turnover?
- Would your business benefit from increased employee engagement and increased motivation?
What does ISO stand for?
ISO is the short name of the International Organization for Standardization. The founders of ISO decided to give it an acronym ISO, based on the Greek word isos, meaning equal.
“ISO” is not an acronym; It is a Greek word derived from isos meaning “equal” and is used in a set of terms such as isometric (of equal size or dimensions) and isonomy (equality of persons before laws).
History and achievements
In response to the question of what is ISO, you must first familiarize yourself with the history of this organization. In the mid-1900s, international representatives met in London to create a new standard for international cooperation and organization. This organization was formed in 1946, after a delegation of 65 members from 25 countries was formed to discuss the future of international standardization.
Their efforts became so popular over the decades that they now have approximately 23,000 published standards in 164 countries. Currently, companies obtain ISO certifications to prove their quality standards to the world.
What is the importance of ISO certificates?
ISO certifications obtained from third parties serve as proof of corporate compliance with standards set by the International Organization for Standardization.
They assure customers and other stakeholders that a company is behaving efficiently and to a high standard. ISO certifications also prove a company’s commitment to important business goals such as customer satisfaction and production.
How to get ISO certification
Most of the companies seeking ISO certifications are those involved in mass production and global shipping. They deal with trade agreements and laws in different countries, and obtaining global standards certification is a must for them.
To complete the answer to what is ISO, the following steps explain how you can obtain an ISO 9001 certification with an official audit. Note that the audit method changes depending on the importance and sensitivity of the type of activity.
1- Create a quality management system
The first step to obtaining ISO certification is to develop a unique quality management system for the business. You need to identify your core business processes and determine your weaknesses. Work with managers and teams at all levels and document their processes.
Then, using the standards set by ISO, create a QMS that works most effectively. You should create a document that defines the new process and distribute it to all levels of the business.
2- Implementation of the new quality management system
The next step in the ISO concept is to implement the new QMS and monitor its progress. Ensure that procedures are followed at all levels as outlined in the new documentation. If the new system requires new processes, make sure the teams are trained in the new methodologies.
3- Do an external audit
After some time has passed and all the problems have been resolved, schedule an audit with a reputable organization. A certified auditor evaluates the new QMS at all levels, looks for potential problems, and determines whether the standard requirements have been properly implemented.
During this time, they may need to access official documentation and compare it with the actual work done.
4- Quality management system registration
If the company passes the inspection, they register their QMS for certification. All documents must be collected and submitted to the verifier for review. After checking the documents, the company receives its certificate.
However, standards often change over time. To maintain certification, QMS requires an audit and re-certification every three years.
ISO in the technology sector
In addition to creating international standards, ISO also publishes a number of technical related materials.
What are ISO technical reports?
Identified by the initials TR, they describe useful information collected but not normally included in a standard.
What are ISO specifications?
Denoted by the initials TS, they may be published when a standard is still under development.
What are ISO technical amendments?
They are usually temporary regulations that are used to amend existing standards until they are updated or withdrawn. They are usually made to correct minor technical errors or improve usability.
What are the benefits of ISO?
What are the benefits of ISO? For a company, ISO means that they can be sure that their suppliers, manufacturers, service providers, etc. meet the defined standards.
Another benefit for companies is that ISO builds consumer confidence. ISO makes a business credible and reliable, whether it is supplying goods or services to another company or end user, which in turn can create more business opportunities.
The most common benefits are:
- Increase Productivity
- reduction in costs
- Improve customer satisfaction
- More committed employees
- Reduce risks
What is the function of ISO standards?
As we said, ISO management standards are a set of internationally recognized guidelines that optimize the key areas of running and managing a business. These key areas include:
- Leadership and commitment
- Risk management and business opportunities
- Resources such as people and infrastructure
- Operational planning and control
- performance evaluation
The ISO management standard is a way to run your operations so that they are consistent and effective. ISO management systems can help make your business more attractive to potential buyers or attract investors.
What is a closer look at the ISO question?
The ISO organization prepares all kinds of safety, quality, environment, etc. standards at the global level. These items are for the optimization of production and international export, communication and cooperation between countries, companies and institutions in different fields.
The standards set by this organization are valuable for international trade; Because they have strict requirements whose ultimate goal is to improve industrial welfare worldwide and increase the level of safety for all.
Different types of ISO standards
ISO is active in almost every part of our daily lives and business contexts, covering more than 20,000 standards and technical specifications. The most famous and important standards can be found in areas such as quality management systems, environment, occupational health and safety, medicine, production or food safety, etc.
How are ISO standards developed?
After getting to know the concept of ISO, it is good to get to know how to formulate standards. These standards have been prepared by national and international standards working groups.
Standards are developed, reviewed, approved and published at regular intervals by ISO members as international standards. The development to release process has six stages:
1- proposal/preliminary stage ( NP – new work proposal)
New standardization programs are collected, evaluated and ranked by standardization committees.
2- Draft ( WP – draft work)
Expert working groups prepare basic drafts.
3- Committee draft ( CD )
National representatives draft the initial standard.
4- Survey ( DIS – Draft International Standard)
A draft of this survey has been published for voting or comments. If less than 75% of the members approve, they reconsider the draft. If the DIS is approved by a clear majority, the FDIS phase can be rejected.
5- Approval ( FDIS – draft final international standard)
The final draft is published for comment, poll and vote. If the majority includes at least two-thirds of the members, the FDIs enter the release stage.
6- Publication ( ISO Standard )
A new ISO standard, for example, is published in the ISO Bulletin and the Standard Book.
The next stage is the appeal. Since the standard is only useful if it is up-to-date with the current technical and social standards, after five years the ISO carefully, accurately and timely reviews the standards, and if there is a possibility of improvement, the standard is revised.
Validity of ISO certificates
ISO certificates are valid for three years; But they also need annual renewal. After three years, it must be re-issued.
A few important points
- Individual certification is not done by ISO.
- ISO does not recommend using terms such as “ISO certification” without mentioning the version number.
- Issuance fee depends on company size, number of employees or initial credit.
- Products and services that comply with ISO standards instill more confidence in the customer.
- Adherence to international standards enables seamless compatibility and cooperation across borders.
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