Workers in office cubicles

With coronavirus cases falling, office-based work is making a comeback in the UK. In England, the government is no longer telling people to work from home where possible, and Scotland will be following suit next week. Working from home is still recommended in Northern Ireland, and at time of writing, it remains a requirement in Wales - although this will move "from law to guidance" on Friday 28 January.

Thousands of British workers are already back in the office - journeys on the London Underground reportedly increased by 8% as soon as the rules were relaxed in England - and many more will soon join them.

However, this certainly does not spell the end for remote working in the UK. Many companies and their employees will undoubtedly continue to work from home regardless of government guidance; for example, The Law Society Gazette conducted a survey of 30 top law firms and found that "the vast majority are either leaving staff to decide whether they work from home or allowing them to work flexibly at least two days a week". It's clear that COVID-19 has irreversibly changed Britain's relationship with the workplace, so don't expect to see the back of home / hybrid working any time soon.

 

Here at ISO Accelerator, remote is just how we do things.

Even as some of our clients return to the traditional office-based mode of working, we at ISO Accelerator will continue to conduct all of our audits remotely.

This has nothing to do with the pandemic - whether coronavirus cases are going up or down, remote auditing is the preferable option in every way. Here are just a few of the reasons why:

  • Remote certification is fast, saving precious time
  • Our method reduces certification costs for your business
  • It's also better for the environment - we've taken dozens of auditors off the road

If you need ISO 9001 certification, contact ISO Accelerator today to find out how we can help you.

LEARN MORE: How Does Remote Certification Work?

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COP26 environment protest

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference - or COP26 for short - is currently taking place in Glasgow. Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing humanity today, and this meeting of delegates from nearly 200 different countries has been touted as the world's "best last chance" to avert catastrophe.

The conference began on Sunday 31 October, and since then we've heard stirring speeches from the likes of David Attenborough, Barack Obama, and Tuvalu's foreign minister Simon Kofe, who addressed the conference while standing knee-deep in seawater.

A number of big pledges and ambitious targets have already been announced, but it's clear that we will all need to do our bit in order to limit the impact of climate change on our planet and our societies.

 

Working towards net zero

A number of countries, including the UK, have set themselves the target of reaching 'net zero' carbon emissions by 2050. This is a useful goal not just for the nations of the world but also for households and businesses.

Businesses of all sizes are now looking at ways to minimise their carbon footprint and get closer to net zero. One way to achieve this is to switch to a remote-only certification body like ISO Accelerator.

We at ISO Accelerator consider ourselves a climate emergency company. Our ISO 9001 certification service is conducted entirely online; by eliminating the need for in-person site visits and taking more than two dozen auditors off the road, we've already saved 185 metric tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent).

Contact ISO Accelerator today for more information about switching to our environmentally-friendly ISO certification service.

Remote ISO Certification: How Does It Work?

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Quality manual folders

A quality manual is a document that outlines an organisation's quality management system (QMS).

In the past, a company seeking ISO 9001 certification would typically keep a big folder - sometimes several big folders - full of important documents related to their QMS. This unwieldy stack of forms, procedures, policies and so forth was sometimes referred to as a 'quality manual'.

But a quality manual doesn't have to include all of those things. In fact, a quality manual can just be a single document that sets out the intent for your quality management system and how it will operate.

SEE ALSO: What is a quality manual?

 

Is a quality manual required for ISO 9001 certification?

Not always. There's a lot of debate around this, but there are some certification industry experts who feel that quality manuals are no longer necessary at all.

Here at ISO Accelerator, we do provide each of our clients with a quality manual as part of our ISO 9001 certification service. But don't worry - this is provided digitally, so you won't have to find room for a heavy folder full of policy documents.

Because every company is different, we work closely with each client to develop a QMS (and a quality manual) that's tailored to their unique requirements. So the precise contents of your quality manual will depend on the nature of your organisation and the goals of your quality management system.

Getting Certified: How Does It Work?

Contact ISO Accelerator today to find out more about our fast-track ISO 9001 certification service.

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ISO 9001 audit

Once you have obtained ISO 9001 certification through ISO Accelerator, you will need to renew your certification once a year. This involves paying an annual recertification fee and passing a surveillance audit to prove that you are maintaining your quality management system (QMS).

If you're wondering what to expect from this annual ISO recertification audit, read on...

 

How does the recertification audit work?

The annual surveillance audit is designed to check that your organisation is adhering to the processes laid out in your quality management system.

If your ISO 9001 certificate was issued by ISO Accelerator, we will contact you when it's nearly time for your annual audit. The audit is conducted remotely, keeping costs low and eliminating the need for time-consuming site visits.

Your certification will be renewed upon receipt of a compliant audit report.

 

How often are ISO 9001 audits carried out?

Our recertification audits are carried out once a year.

 

ISO 9001 annual audit checklist

To help you prepare for your annual ISO 9001 recertification audit, here's a list of what we look at when we're conducting a remote audit:

  • Is the organisation following and maintaining the QMS?

  • Does the organisation have an effective internal auditing process in place?

  • Are the recommendations of those internal audits being implemented?

  • Has appropriate action been taken to prevent / correct nonconformances?

  • Is the organisation keeping the correct documentation? (See What Documents Are Required for ISO Certification?)

  • Are management reviews being carried out regularly?

If you have any other questions about our certification process and how these annual surveillance audits work, please don't hesitate to get in touch with ISO Accelerator.

Get Certified   How Does It Work?

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Is ISO 9001 a Quality Management System?

If you're unfamiliar with the ISO 9000 family of standards, some of the terminology associated with ISO 9001 may seem a little confusing at first. Perhaps you're aware that ISO 9001 is some kind of management tool, but you're not quite clear on the details. You've seen the phrase 'quality management system' come up frequently in articles on this topic - so is ISO 9001 a quality management system?

We can answer that question right now: no, ISO 9001 is not a quality management system. Rather, ISO 9001 is the global standard for quality management systems (often abbreviated to QMS). The concepts are closely linked, but the terms 'ISO 9001' and 'QMS' should not be used interchangeably.

We hope the definitions below will clear up any uncertainty.

 

Quality management system meaning

A quality management system (QMS) is a set of processes that an organisation may adopt in order to maximise the quality of its products / services and ultimately boost customer satisfaction.

The exact content of a QMS can differ radically from one company to the next, but the primary aims of a quality management system should always be to reduce waste and produce consistently high-quality results for the customer.

READ MORE: What is a quality management system?

 

ISO 9001 meaning

ISO 9001 is an international standard for quality management systems. This standard is published by the International Organization for Standardization, also known as ISO.

Once an organisation has implemented a QMS, that organisation can seek ISO 9001 certification to demonstrate the effectiveness of their quality management system. (This can be useful for attracting new business.)

Often, to award a certificate of registration, a third-party certification company is used to independently verify that the QMS fulfils the requirements of ISO 9001.

If you are looking to obtain ISO 9001 certification, ISO Accelerator can help you to get certified quickly. Contact us now to discuss your company's certification requirements.

Getting Certified: How Does It Work?

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Documents required for ISO certification

It is a popular misconception that businesses must document absolutely everything they do in order to obtain ISO 9001 certification. Yes, there is a fair bit of documentation involved, but there's no reason to fear that your office will be buried under tonnes and tonnes of paperwork.

In fact, one of the objectives of ISO 9001:2015 - the most recent version of the ISO 9001 standard for quality management systems - was to streamline the amount and detail of documentation required.

 

Documents required for ISO 9001 certification

There are two sets of documents required for ISO 9001 certification.

The following mandatory documents are needed to obtain ISO 9001 certification and must be updated continuously:

  • Scope of the quality management system (QMS)
  • Quality policy
  • Quality objectives

Additionally, the following records must be retained in order to prove that your QMS meets ISO 9001 requirements:

  • Monitoring and measuring resources
  • Records of staff training, qualifications, experience, etc.
  • Product / service requirement review records
  • Records of design and development inputs, controls, outputs and changes
  • Characteristics of the product / service to be provided
  • Customer property records
  • Product / service provision change control records
  • Product / service release
  • Record of nonconforming outputs
  • Monitoring and measurement results
  • Results of internal audit
  • Resilts of management review
  • Results of corrective actions
  • Criteria for evaluation and selection of suppliers

Different documents may be required if you are looking to achieve ISO 14001 or ISO 27001 certification. Contact ISO Accelerator for more information on these standards.

If you want to achieve ISO certification as quickly as possible, ISO Accelerator can help. Our online certification service eliminates the need for site visits and face-to-face consultations, helping you to save time and cut costs.

Get ISO Certification   How It Works

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Manufacturing

Quality control is a crucial part of many industries, but none more so than manufacturing. A manufacturing company must have robust systems in place to ensure that their products are of a consistently high quality.

Because manufacturing firms live and die on the quality of the products they make, new companies generally don't wait long to implement a quality management system (QMS) and secure ISO 9001 certification as a mark of their dependability.

 

Why is ISO 9001 certification beneficial for manufacturing companies?

ISO 9001 is the global standard for quality management systems. A company that has achieved ISO 9001 certification can be relied upon to deliver high-quality products and services using efficient, well-defined processes.

In order to meet the criteria for ISO 9001 certification, a manufacturing company must have a suitable quality management system in place. The QMS should:

  • Have a strong customer focus

  • Involve the entire organisation

  • Aim to deliver continual improvement

  • Minimise waste to make all processes as efficient as possible

SEE ALSO: The 8 Principles of Quality Management

Obtaining ISO 9001 certification is a good way to get more business - getting certified proves the quality of your manufacturing processes to potential customers, and many businesses will only consider working with suppliers who hold ISO 9001 certification.

ISO Accelerator can help manufacturing companies to achieve ISO 9001 certification quickly and with minimal hassle. Click here to find out more about our remote ISO certification service.

Get Certified >

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Company meeting

Implementing a quality management system (QMS) is a great way for an organisation to streamline and improve its processes.

Running a business is a very demanding job, and taking the time to formalise the procedures you follow may not seem like a priority. But a properly-implemented QMS will make the whole company more efficient, so you will more than recoup the time you spend on it.

 

3 reasons to implement a quality management system

  1. Get your team working more effectively. A quality management system provides formal answers to the questions of who is responsible for what within your organisation, what goals they should be working towards, and what processes they should be following to get there. This results in more efficient work with better outcomes for the customer.

  2. Boost your customer satisfaction. Customer focus is a key principle of quality management. Implementing a QMS will push you to understand your customers better and refocus your operations towards the goal of fulfilling the customer's needs.

  3. Waste less time and fewer resources. Quality management systems are designed to make all organisational processes as efficient as possible, minimising waste of all kinds - so you'll waste less time, less manpower and less money in your pursuit of maximum customer satisfaction.

READ MORE: The Benefits of a Quality Management System

 

How ISO Accelerator can help

If you wish to implement a quality management system in order to get your business running more efficiently, we at ISO Accelerator can help. Not only will we work with you to develop a management system that suits the needs of your organisation, we will also ensure that your QMS is consistent with the ISO 9001 standard for quality management systems.

Once you have implemented your QMS, we can help you to achieve ISO 9001 certification quickly, with no need for face-to-face consultations. Our remote certification process is fast and cost effective - for more information, see How Does Remote ISO Certification Work?

Contact ISO Accelerator >

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Cold weather jacket with ISO Accelerator logo on the back

UEFA Euro 2020 is proving to be well worth the extra year we had to wait for it. The tournament is really hotting up now, and if the group stage hadn't already sent the country football mad, England's 2-0 win against Germany last night will surely have done the trick.

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The world

World Accreditation Day takes place on the 9th of June every year. Established by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), this annual event aims to raise awareness of the value of accreditation.

The theme for World Accreditation Day 2021 is 'Accreditation: Supporting the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)'.

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