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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April 2021 planner

The ISO 9001 standard is a recognised worldwide standard that an organisation can use to help improve its overall performance and to demonstrate its commitment to quality. In order to achieve ISO 9001 certification, a business must first develop and implement a stringent quality management system (QMS). The implementation of a quality management system is often a strategic decision. An effective quality management system can help an organisation to:

  1. demonstrate their ability to consistently provide products and services
  2. enhance customer satisfaction

If the QMS fulfils the requirements of ISO 9001, the company can then obtain independent certification in order to demonstrate this to potential customers.

But is ISO 9001 certification still relevant in the year 2021? Do decision-makers still look for the ISO certificate when seeking companies to do business with, or is it a relic of a different time? With the help of the World Wide Web, we can now find out almost anything about a given company with just a few keystrokes - so is there any reason for businesses to go to the trouble of getting certified in this day and age?

 

Why ISO certification still matters

The truth is that, while the Internet has made information easier to find than ever before, it can still be difficult to spot high-quality businesses. Anyone can set up a website and tell the world that they offer a particular product or service - but ISO 9001 certification demonstrates that your business has customer-focused processes in place and is dedicated to the pursuit of continuous improvement.

SEE ALSO: When Is The Next ISO 9001 Update?

The COVID-19 pandemic has made remote working far more widespread than it was before. In the past, when establishing a business relationship with a new client, supplier or service provider, you might have visited their head office and met key individuals in person; the coronavirus crisis has made that less feasible, so it's more important than ever to have a reliable means of evaluating a company's quality. ISO 9001:2015 certification can help you to achieve that.

If you would like to obtain ISO 9001:2015 certification for your business, ISO Accelerator can help you to get certified quickly while minimising costs. Click here to get started!

How Our Remote ISO Certification Process Works

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Typing on a laptop computer

There is a certain amount of debate surrounding quality manuals, what exactly they are, and whether a quality manual is actually required. Many people confuse the term 'quality manual' with a quality management system (QMS); this is understandable, because in the past...

  • ISO 9001 talked about a quality manual

  • Companies would often keep a large folder (or folders) containing master copies of their quality procedures, policies, forms, etc. This was sometimes known as the 'quality manual'.

Today, some in the certification industry see quality manuals as unnecessary. At ISO Accelerator, we aim to give our clients clear and simple guidance on this topic - whether or not you require a quality manual depends on the format and structure of your QMS.

ISO Accelerator helps businesses to implement effective quality management systems. As part of each QMS, we do also provide clients with a digital quality manual. However, this quality manual does not itself contain copies of quality procedures, policies, forms, and so on - instead, these are supplied as part of the complete quality management system. The quality manual is simply a document that describes the intent of the QMS and how it operates.

 

Developing a quality management system

Here at ISO Accelerator, we offer a comprehensive ISO 9001 certification service. We will work with you remotely, helping you to develop a quality management system and put it into practice.

Once your QMS has been properly implemented, a remote audit will be conducted to confirm that you are meeting the requirements of your quality management system. You will then be awarded your certificate of ISO 9001 certification.

As a bonus, you will be able to give clients and customers a copy of your quality manual to reassure them that you have processes in place to ensure a quality service.

How Long Does It Take?   Get ISO 9001 Certification

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Freelancer

Implementing a quality management system (QMS) and achieving ISO 9001 certification is a great way to make your business more appealing to potential customers. This applies to businesses of all sizes - even if it's just you!

Regardless of whether your company has one hundred employees or just one, an ISO-compliant QMS will help you to work more efficiently, deliver better results, and win new business.

Here at ISO Accelerator, we can help sole traders, freelancers and other individuals to get ISO 9001 certified quickly.

Who can get certified with ISO Accelerator?

We offer a comprehensive set of services for individuals who...

  • Need a QMS and ISO 9001 certification
  • Already have a QMS in place and just need to get certified
  • Are already certified, but want to reduce their certification costs

Learn more: How to Get Certified with ISO Accelerator

Any Questions? Contact ISO Accelerator Now!

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Small business work

ISO 9001 isn't just for big organisations with lots of different departments. Small businesses can also benefit from implementing a quality management system (QMS) and achieving ISO 9001 certification.

Related: What Is ISO 9001?

If you run a small business (i.e. one with fewer than 50 employees and a turnover under £10 million), ISO 9001 certification can benefit you and your company in a number of ways, such as...

Helping you to work more efficiently

A quality management system that meets ISO standards will help your business to achieve continuous improvement and reduce waste. Once your QMS has been implemented, it will help to ensure that all of your work has the maximum possible impact.

Making your customers happier

Better work means happier customers. Implementing and adhering to an ISO 9001-compliant QMS will help you to deliver a better service to the people who keep your business running.

Opening new doors

Some businesses only work with ISO 9001 certified suppliers, so depending on what sector you're in, achieving this certification can enable you to take on a whole host of new clients.

ISO Accelerator can help you to get certified quickly. Our remote ISO 9001 certification service is delivered entirely online, which means no time-consuming consultation sessions and no need for us to visit your premises. Call 02381 040269 to find out more.

Get Certified with ISO Accelerator

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Save 20 per cent

ISO Accelerator recently became a member of the British Standards Institute (BSI).

We promised that BSI membership would enable us to pass on a variety of benefits to our customers, and we're pleased to announce that BSI are currently promoting a 20% discount on BS EN ISO 9001 - Quality Management Systems.

This discount is available until the end of July. Purchasing the ISO 9001:2015 standard is the first step to achieving ISO 9001 certification.

Read More: What is ISO 9001?

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