Ever wondered how you can assure your customers regarding the quality and safety of the product/service you offer? In all probability, your customers (both actual and potential) are also wondering the same.
How to assure the customers that they are getting what they are paying for? Well, a part of the answer is- by obtaining the ISO Certification.
In this blog, we will tell you what ISO Certification is, its importance for an organization and the customers, and the process of ISO Certification in India. Here we go!
What is ISO?
ISO stands for International Organization for Standardisation. This is an independent body that assigns standards for efficiency, quality, and safety of services and products offered by businesses.
What is the Importance of ISO certification for businesses?
When a business looks to obtain ISO Certification, it aims to improve the standardization of technology in all spheres of internal business operations. The importance of ISO certification for a business can be understood from the following points-
- It increases customer satisfaction: The ISO certification standards are devised to help organizations serve their customers better. Post-implementation of the standards, the customers will receive an improved experience. This, in turn, will increase customers’ satisfaction
- Builds international credibility: ISO Certification helps the organization a great deal in building credibility in the global business spheres.
- Improves efficiency: By obtaining ISO certification, a business can improve its functional efficiency. It can develop work instructions and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in consultation with the ISO Certification Agency. This will help the business to make optimum use of its resources.
- Improves Product Quality: Once the organization obtains the ISO certification and improves efficiency in its operations, the product quality is bound to improve. It will lead to a significant reduction in product order rejections, which may have occurred earlier because of flaws in product quality. This will also improve the reputation of the organisation.
- Improves the marketability: As ISO Certification improves the reputation of the business and increases its credibility, the marketability of the business gets improved as well.
- More likelihood of Government Tenders: Some Government agencies make ISO Certification mandatory for granting work orders or tenders. Therefore, ISO certification would help organizations to bid successfully for Government projects and tenders.
What are the pre-requisites to ISO Certification in India?
You should bear in mind the following before applying for ISO certification-
- Choose the relevant ISO Certification type
First and foremost, you should choose the ISO certification standard relevant to your business.
Some of the different types of ISO certification standards available in India are:
|ISO Standard||Applicable to|
|ISO 9001||Quality Management|
|ISO 27001||Information security Management|
|ISO 14001||Environmental Management|
|ISO 22008||Food Safety Management|
- Choose a credible ISO Certification Body
Please note that ISO does not issue certificates to the applicants itself. The task of assigning ISO Certification to the applicants is performed by external bodies. It is extremely important for you to do your research and choose a credible and recognized certification body to obtain the certification from.
Please consider the following-
- Evaluate the records of different ISO Certification agencies.
- Check if they follow the CASCO standards. This is a committee set up by the ISO to oversee issues linked to conformity assessment.
- Check whether they meet the criteria of ISO Accreditation agencies.
What is the procedure for ISO Certification in India
The step-by-step procedure for obtaining ISO certification in India are as follows-
1. Create an application or contract
It defines the rights and obligations of both the parties and includes confidentiality, liability issues, and access rights.
2. Review of Quality Documents
An ISO auditor will check all the documents & manuals related to the procedures followed by the organization to ensure quality. This will help the auditor to identify possible gaps against the requirements of the ISO standards.
3. Devise an Action Plan
After the auditor points out the existing gaps, you should devise an action plan to eliminate them. You may need to train your employees to adapt to the changing procedures defined by the ISO quality standards.
4. Certification Audit
This audit is divided into two stages- Stage 1 and Stage 2.
Here, the auditor will review the changes incorporated by you in the previous step. Any non-conformity observed with the desired quality management system will then be grouped into minor and major categories. You need to assess these non-conformities and modify/rectify the internal processes and techniques accordingly.
Here, the auditor performs the final auditing. He will check if all the non-conformities pointed out have been eliminated as per the stated ISO quality standards. On being satisfied, he will submit the final audit report to the Registrar.
5. Issue of the ISO Certification
On successful scrutiny of the audit report, the registrar will issue the ISO certificate to you.