What is ISO? Guide to Obtaining ISO Certification

What is ISO? Guide to Obtaining ISO Certification

Wondering what ISO stands for and what it is for? Let’s dive into the following lines and find out about it.

What is the ISO?

ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization. It is an independent, non-governmental international organization that develops and publishes standards for various industries and sectors.

The organization's standards aim to promote safety, reliability, efficiency, and sustainability in various industries and to facilitate international trade by ensuring products and services meet recognized standards.

ISO's headquarters is located in Geneva, Switzerland, and it has members from over 160 countries. ISO standards cover areas such as quality management, environmental management, information security, and social responsibility.

what is the ISO

History of ISO

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) was established on February 23, 1947, as a successor to the International Federation of the National Standardizing Associations (ISA), which was founded in 1926. The organization's name was derived from the Greek word "isos," meaning "equal," reflecting its aim to promote standardization and harmonization of practices and procedures across nations.

ISO's early focus was on developing international standards for engineering, including mechanical, electrical, and chemical engineering. However, over time, the organization expanded its scope to cover a wide range of industries and sectors, including manufacturing, healthcare, information technology, and services.

ISO has played a critical role in facilitating international trade by developing standards that enable products and services to meet recognized quality, safety, and environmental standards. ISO has also been instrumental in promoting sustainable development through its standards on environmental management and social responsibility.

Today, ISO is a widely recognized and respected organization with over 160 members from around the world. It continues to develop and publish standards that promote best practices and improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of products and services.

What is ISO Certification?

ISO certification is a process by which an independent, accredited certification body evaluates an organization's management system to determine if it meets the requirements of a specific ISO standard. If the organization meets the requirements of the standard, it is awarded an ISO certificate, which is a formal recognition that the organization's management system meets international standards.

ISO certification is voluntary, and organizations choose to seek certification to demonstrate to customers, stakeholders, and regulators that their management system meets recognized standards for quality, safety, environmental management, or other areas of focus. ISO certification can enhance an organization's reputation, improve its ability to compete in domestic and international markets and help it meet legal and regulatory requirements.

Different Kinds of ISO Standards

ISO 9000: This standard is focused on quality management and provides a framework for organizations to improve their quality management systems. It is the most widely used standard in the ISO 9000 family and is used by organizations of all sizes and industries.

ISO 22000: This standard is focused on food safety management and provides a framework for organizations to ensure the safety of their food products. It is designed to help organizations implement a food safety management system that is aligned with international best practices and can be applied to any organization involved in the food chain, from farmers to retailers.

ISO/IEC 27000: This standard is focused on information security management systems and provides a framework for organizations to manage and protect their information assets. It is designed to help organizations implement a comprehensive information security management system that addresses risks and vulnerabilities associated with information technology.

ISO 31000: This standard is focused on risk management and provides a framework for organizations to identify, assess, and manage risks across their operations. It is designed to help organizations implement a risk management process that is aligned with international best practices and can be applied to any organization, regardless of size or industry.

Steps to Achieve ISO Certification for Your Business

Achieving ISO certification for your business involves several steps, which may vary depending on the specific ISO standard you are seeking certification for. However, here are some general steps to follow:

  1. Determine which ISO standard is relevant to your business: The first step is to determine which ISO standard is applicable to your business. Consider your industry, the products or services you offer, and any regulatory or customer requirements.
  2. Develop a management system that meets the requirements of the standard: Once you have identified the relevant ISO standard, you will need to develop a management system that meets the requirements of the standard. This may involve creating policies, procedures, and processes that are aligned with the standard.
  3. Implement the management system: Once the management system has been developed, it must be implemented throughout the organization. This involves training employees, communicating policies and procedures, and ensuring that everyone in the organization understands and complies with the requirements of the standard.
  4. Conduct an internal audit: Before seeking ISO certification, you should conduct an internal audit to ensure that your management system meets the requirements of the standard. This can help identify any areas where improvements may be needed.
  5. Engage an accredited certification body: To obtain ISO certification, you must engage an accredited certification body to conduct an external audit of your management system. The certification body will review your documentation, procedures, and practices to determine if they meet the requirements of the standard.
  6. Address any non-conformities: If the certification body identifies any non-conformities during the audit, you will need to address them before you can obtain ISO certification.
  7. Receive ISO certification: If your management system meets the requirements of the ISO standard, you will receive ISO certification. This certification is typically valid for a period of three years, subject to ongoing surveillance audits to ensure continued compliance with the standard.

how to get ISO certification

5 Key Benefits of a Quality Management System

  1. Improved Customer Satisfaction: By implementing a quality management system, an organization can identify and address customer needs and expectations more effectively, leading to increased customer satisfaction.
  2. Increased Efficiency and Productivity: A quality management system can help an organization streamline its processes, reduce waste, and improve efficiency, which can lead to increased productivity and reduced costs.
  3. Improved Decision-making: A quality management system provides an organization with a framework for collecting and analyzing data, which can help leaders make informed decisions that drive improvement and growth.
  4. Enhanced Reputation and Credibility: Implementing a quality management system demonstrates an organization's commitment to quality and continuous improvement, which can enhance its reputation and credibility with customers, stakeholders, and regulators.

Compliance with Regulations and Standards: Many industries have regulations and standards that organizations must comply with to operate legally and effectively. A quality management system can help an organization meet these requirements and stay in compliance with relevant regulations and standards

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