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.

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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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Hilcon Ltd is a concrete supply company that provides ready-mixed concrete to sites all over Hampshire.

Recently, the Hilcon team decided that implementing a quality management system and achieving ISO 9001 certification would be a great way to show potential customers just how dedicated they are to providing the best service possible. However, they were a little concerned that getting certified would use up a lot of the company's time and resources.

It was this concern that led them to ISO Accelerator. We specialise in fast-track ISO certification - in fact, if you're a small/medium business based in the UK, we can typically get you certified within just 7 days.

We worked with Hilcon to help them develop an effective, ISO-compliant quality management system; once this was in place, the company completed a Self-Declaration of Conformance to state that their QMS met the requirements of the ISO 9001:2015 standard. We are pleased to say that Hilcon Ltd is now an ISO-certified business!

Do you want to achieve ISO 9001 certification in the shortest possible timeframe? ISO Accelerator can help!

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Dataweigh Systems Limited, based in Yeovil, UK, are a company that specialises in designing and supplying POS touch screen systems to businesses and organisation all over the country, spanning a range of industries and sectors including farming, hairdressing and retail. With sufficient procedures and processes already well-established within the company, Dataweigh Systems approached us at ISO Accelerator, eager to achieve ISO certification in order to establish and show their desire and dedication to quality to their extensive customer base.

Without hesitation, we were able to assist Dataweigh in their quest for ISO certification, by helping them speed through the registration process and are pleased to announce that as a result, they are now ISO 9001:2015 certified

Managing Director, Tony Custard, told us that communication throughout the whole process was "clear, precise and with friendly, helpful support when needed." Tony goes on to say that he would "thoroughly recommend our services" - fantastic! 

If you're looking for assistance with achieving ISO certification, click below to get started!

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ISO 9001 Certification Europe

ISO Accelerator is a UK-based company offering rapid ISO 9001 certification for small/medium companies across all industry sectors. We work with clients across all sectors in the UK and across the continent.

If your business is based in Europe and you'd like to achieve ISO certification, we can help you to do it within an extraordinarily short timeframe (typically just 7 working days). Apply for certification now >

Why get certified?

ISO 9001 is the globally-recognised standard for quality management systems.There are a number of benefits to being certified:

  • You will have a competitive advantage over other businesses in your industry
  • Customers will know at a glance that you are dedicated to exceptional customer service
  • Certain contracts may only be available to companies with ISO 9001 certification

Whether you're based in the UK or elsewhere in Europe, we are more than happy to help you achieve ISO 9010 certification.

Get certified >   Find out more >

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ISO Accelerator can provide rapid certification for software companies in the UK and USA!

Software Company

The tech world is constantly changing, and if your business makes its money developing software then it's important to make sure that, at any given time, all staff are on the same page and working to achieve the same goals.

A quality management system (QMS) is one way to achieve this. A good QMS will get your whole organisation working efficiently with minimal waste and an eye to customer satisfaction at all times.

Once your company has implemented a suitable QMS, you will probably want to apply for ISO 9001 certification. ISO 9001 is the global standard for quality management systems, and gaining this accreditation will:

  • Mark your business out as a high-quality provider that's dedicated to excellent customer service
  • Give clients an extra reason to choose you over your competitors
  • Potentially allow you to take on new contracts for which ISO certification is a requirement

ISO certification can be a time-consuming process, but ISO Accelerator provide a rapid, cost-effective certification service that typically takes just 7 working days. We are happy to work with software companies in both the UK and the USA - use the links below to find out more.

How to Get Certified >   Apply for ISO 9001 Certification >

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iso 9001 history

Introduction

The roots of The International Standards Organisation (ISO) can be traced all the way back to World War 2, where demand for better safety standards within the factories that were developing explosive devices appeared. The ISO 9000, or BS 5750 series of standards as it was once known, was introduced in 1979, meaning businesses had to comply with strict production procedures. The requirements of the standard were primarily based around those of the MoD.

The ISO 9001 standard, built on these original guidelines, was formally introduced in 1987 as many companies became increasingly frustrated with the original BS 5750 guidelines. This is because the original guidelines were specifically geared towards manufacturing businesses, meaning they were a poor fit for a number of other types of companies and industries.

ISO 9001 was then created to address these issues and offer a universal framework for quality management that all businesses and industries could adhere to. The ISO 9001 was designed to be product and industry-friendly, the ever-changing and evolving nature of the business world meant that there was a need for further updates and revisions.

1994 

The first of these revisions came in 1994, where the ISO’s intention was to move the focus of the original standard to quality management systems (QMS) that monitored and checked products at every stage involved in creating them instead of only checking them at the finished stage. This change focused on quality assurance using anticipatory actions, rather than correcting any created issues. QMS, in essence, moved from a ‘cure’ to ‘prevention’ state.

2000 

In 2000, ISO 9001 was once again changed. The purpose this time was to simplify the processes and documentation involved so that companies will be less burdened with quality control procedures if they didn’t actually produce new products. Another aim of this revision was to increase the involvement of upper management in order to integrate quality control throughout the entirety of the business, connecting all levels of company hierarchy. The final goal of this update was to increase effectiveness through the use of process performance metrics, where continual process improvement and the monitoring of customer satisfaction became paramount.

2008

The changes to ISO 9001 that were seen in 2008 were minor in comparison to previous changes. In this part of the ISO 9001's history, clearer clarifications were made to existing standards to enhance the consistency with other ISO standards (ISO 14001), without introducing new requirements.

Latest Revision in 2015

The most recent change in ISO 9001 history came in 2015 after it was decided that a new QMS model for the next 25 years had to be created. As a result of this, work on created a new version if ISO 9001 began, starting with updated quality management principles. The change came not with the scope of the standard, but rather the core terms, to allow greater integration with other international management systems. This update also made the standard less prescriptive than previous versions, focusing much more on performance.

This was accomplished by incorporating a process approach with risk-based thinking. Communication was a made a key area with the change, with the need for a quality representative eliminated, there is much more emphasis placed on everyone within the business having an influence in the development and maintenance of the QMS.

The standard is now seen as an ever-evolving document, being continually edited and updated with input from a number of trade committees and organisations with quality management know-how from across the globe, in order to stay as relevant to worldwide businesses as possible.

If you would like further information on ISO 9001 then please do not hesitate to contact us today. To get certified, please click below.

ISO Certification >

The ISO 9001 standard has been with us for decades, but the requirements for certification haven't remained static since they were first formalised in the 1980s. They are continuously revised and updated, and every so often, a new version of ISO 9001 will be rolled out; when this happens, certified companies are given a set amount of time to transition to the new version.

 

ISO 9001:2015

The latest ISO 9001 revision is known as ISO 9001:2015. It was introduced in September 2015, and companies certified under the previous version (ISO 9001:2008) were told that they had three years to transition. The deadline for ISO 9001:2015 transition is 15 September 2018, so if your organisation hasn't already upgraded to ISO 9001:2015, you'll need to do it soon!

Further Reading: ISO 9001:2008 vs ISO 9001:2015

 

Is there another ISO 9001 revision on its way?

According to www.iso.org"all ISO standards are reviewed every five years to establish if a revision is required".

However, this doesn't necessarily mean that there'll be another ISO 9001 update in precisely five years' time. Eight years passed between the introduction of ISO 9001:2000 (the first update of the new millennium) and ISO 9001:2008, and the latter is still in use even now, since the 15 September deadline for transition has not yet passed.

For the foreseeable future, at least, ISO 9001:2015 is the certification your organisation needs.

If you would like to implement an ISO-compliant QMS (Quality Management System) and achieve ISO 9001:2015 certification, ISO Accelerator can help you to do this quickly.

 

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ISO 9001:2015 for Small Businesses

We at ISO Accelerator frequently help very large organisations to achieve ISO 9001:2015 certification, but getting certified can be hugely beneficial for small enterprises, too. The ISO 9001 standard is designed to be applicable at any level, so whether your business is a multinational mega-corporation or a one-person consultancy based in your own home, you can achieve ISO certification and enjoy the benefits of this globally-recognised accreditation.

Becoming an ISO 9001-certified business can mean:

  • Gaining new contracts for which you otherwise wouldn't have been considered
  • Retaining existing clients who now require ISO certification
  • A clearer path to business growth
  • Improved efficiency and reduced waste

The drawbacks of ISO 9001 certification for small businesses

Many micro/small businesses do not seek ISO certification because of the costs involved and/or because they don't have the time to spare. This is perfectly understandable - time and money are precious, and small enterprises can rarely afford to waste either.

But getting certified may not have to be as costly and time-consuming as you imagine. Here at ISO Accelerator, we specialise in helping UK-based businesses to achieve ISO 9001:2015 certification in the shortest possible timeframe, minimising costs and making the whole process virtually hassle-free.

We also provide:

  • Expert advice and support
  • Straightforward pricing
  • Everything else you need to get certified

We can typically get you certified in approximately 7 days.

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