What are the Options for Gaining ISO 9001 Certification with Qualitation?
As a UK based company with wide and deep ISO expertise, Qualitation offers invaluable support for companies that want to be certified for their commitment to quality.
Is ISO 9001 Relevant to Our Organisation?
In a word – Yes.
ISO 9001 is a quality standard. As such it is not industry specific and it is as relevant to a SME, Sole Trader, Charity, Local Authority, University, Hospital or Community Project as it is to a large corporation. At present there are approximately 1.6million organisations with ISO 9001 certification. This internationally recognised quality standard identifies them as a professional and efficient operator.
Do We Have the Time and Money Needed to Invest in ISO 9001?
Many business owners feel that they have insufficient time or money to invest in ISO 9001 certification. This article aims to explain a number of options, giving you an informed choice about the best way forward for your organisation.
What’s more, if time or money is an issue in your company, ISO 9001 could be exactly what you need. With quality principles embedded in your every aspect of your organisation, there are a range of efficiency, productivity and financial gains that can be realised.
In 20 years of operation, every client that we have worked with has achieved ISO certification on the first attempt.
The process begins with Gap Analysis.
The first stage is to fully understand your current operations and visions for the future. Our expert will undertake a detailed analysis of your business and present information in a way that is relevant and valuable to your company:
The gap analysis highlights where improvements need to be made in order to meet the requirements of ISO 9001. The Qualitator’s aim is never to simply tick a box, but to imbed robust and efficient processes that will be advantageous to your company in the long term.
Putting Plans into Action
The gap analysis will identify what work needs to be undertaken and you have a choice about how to proceed. Qualitation offers three options:
- In Person Support – Our expert Qualitators can be on hand to provide practical support analysing your processes and creating the relevant systems through to certification (and beyond if desired).
- Virtual Support – Our online ISO support tool is designed to guide you through the process and help you to design and complete all associated paperwork to meet the requirements while having some access to real time and specific consultancy advice.
- Self-Driven – You may decide that you have sufficient resources and time to implement the recommended changes without any further support or with only a check by our Qualitator prior to going forward for assessment.
In-Person ISO Support
Our expert advisers know and understand every aspect of ISO 9001. They will take time to visit your company and offer practical support throughout the process. Their involvement could include process writing, awareness training, systems development and/or template creation.
Your dedicated Qualitator will complete much of paperwork on your behalf and ensure that you are fully prepared for Stage 1 Assessment, then internal audit training, the management review process and finally Stage 2 Assessment (certification).
In-Person ISO support is ideal if the time you can dedicate to ISO 9001 is limited, you value expert advice and you want to complete the process efficiently. Qualitation offers flexible payment plans to help spread the cost of this option.
If required, our ‘Qualitators’ are available to assist with ongoing systems development, audits, growth & efficiency consultancy and provision of ongoing updates after ISO 9001 Certification has been achieved.
Virtual ISO Support
Qualitation has put together a Virtual Adviser-led training programme. Each module focuses on the creation of section of documentation. An online consultant will review each section as it is completed and offers assistance on Stage 1 assessment, the internal auditing process, the management review process and then the Stage 2 assessment preparation.
Virtual support is ideal if you want to keep costs down and have time (possibly during a quieter period of year) to work through the process yourself. Access to expert online support can be exactly what an organisation needs to achieve their goal.
The GAP analysis can be used as a guide to help your business to implement change. If minimal work has to be actioned in order to comply, you may not need support to gain ISO 9001 certification. If you wish, we can visit for a further day or two at the end of the process to check you have everything in place before proceeding to the assessment – it’s up to you.
- Stage 1 – Where the certifiers visit to check that the systems as written match the requirements of the standard. You don’t need to be operating to them at this point, although it does not hurt if you are. Unless you pass this stage, you cannot proceed further. If the certifier fails an organisation, they will charge again for a second assessment on stage 1.
- Stage 2 – Where the certifiers visit again to check that the systems are being operated in accordance to the systems as written – and that these are still in conformance with the standard’s requirements. An organisation can change its procedures so long as it does it within the documentation change procedure. Passing stage 2 means that your organisation has gained certification to that standard.
ISO systems are assessed periodically – usually annually, but some certifiers have different rules depending on the scale and complexity of the organisation in question. This can be used to your advantage when discussing price with the certifier.
Certification Achieved – what next?
Once you have passed stage 2, you will gain certification – but that means you are beginning on the journey to continuously improve your organisation’s operation and efficiency. It is the on-going application of continual improvement that will drive your organisation forward.
You may change your goals on the way, but at each step those goals will get easier to attain as you ensure the key components of the organisation work together efficiently and productively. To speed this up, Qualitation has developed its Growth & Efficiency consultancy arm to move clients forward as fast as possible.
The Ideal Time to Start Working Towards ISO 9001 Certification
Your interest in IS0 9001 Certification might have been prompted by your organisation’s need to grow beyond what your current approaches can handle, or an industry requirement or the opportunity to bid for a contract. It could be seen as a good way to align operations following in merger or acquisition, or to build the brand image. You may simply want to be the best organisation you can be.
Quality systems are central to growth, a drive for efficiency or external investment. They help you gain the competitive edge, attract new customers and enhance financial performance.
With so many clear advantages, now is the ideal time for your business to take action. Call Qualitation today on: 0345 600 6975