What is ISO accreditation?
International Organization for Standardization (ISO) develops a wide variety of globally recognised standards that help organisations maintain business continuity, quality and security. As you’ve read in Edara systems blog, ISO itself does not perform the certification process. An external body conducts audits to gauge whether the company’s systems align with the standard stipulated in the ISO requirements.
ISO accreditation meaning; Diplomacy and safety
Usually, the external certification body that conducts the audit is accredited. Accreditation involves the assessment of the impartiality and competence of an organisation with an internationally recognised standard. Accreditation is usually given to bodies with the appropriate quality management system, testing processes and experience. In contrast, ISO certification is awarded to a company’s specific aspect, policy, procedure, or system, only if it successfully clears the audits conducted by the external accreditation body. ISO 45001 is about safety and health in companies; If you are interested, click on the relevant link.
Accreditation process; Steering self-assessment
The accreditation process is an extensive review of a body’s facilities, objectives and procedures. The accreditation process begins by conducting a self-assessment to ensure that services align with appropriate quality standards. Based on the findings, the body submits an application for accreditation for a commencing service. To acquire ISO accreditation, an organisation must demonstrate that it can perform ISO testing and quality checks to maintain certain international standards. In simpler words, accreditation is utilised to verify that companies have appropriate ISO 9001 procedure as known as Quality Management Systems (QMS) and are able to perform certain tests within the scope of their accreditation appropriately.
Which accreditation is best for ISO?
However, accreditations cannot be applied to specific policies, procedures of systems. This is where ISO certification comes into play. An ISO certification is a written guarantee from an ISO-certified accreditation body that an organisation-specific system, process or product aligns with the standards stipulated in ISO recommendations. It is important to note that an individual can become ISO certified in a process by attending training programmes and clearing the exams. It implies that the individual now processes the skill set to maintain the management system.
Through the conduction of conformity assessment and audits, the third-party certified accreditation body can gauge if the compliance of the organisation’s product, process or system meets ISO 9001 Australia requirements. If there is a lack of compliance, the certified accreditation body can provide a framework for the organisation so that the relevant system, process or product can meet the ISO standards through tangible steps. After the organisation’s successful performance in a certification audit, the third party accreditation body can issue certificates to the specific aspect of the organisation.
ISO certification procedures; ISO accreditation meaning
To acquire certificates for a specific aspect of the organisation, it must choose the type of ISO certificate that aligns with its objective. Companies can select an ISO certification based on their objectives. For example, ISO 27001 helps prevent data misuse, ISO 14001 helps enhance environmental sustainability, and ISO 9001 improves quality management.
The process of ISO certification begins with the creation of an application. An application is a contract between the applicant and the registrar where both parties agree on mutually beneficial goals, access rights, liability issues, obligations and terms of confidentiality.
The second step is to review the quality documents. An ISO auditor will examine all documents and manuals related to quality management. By going through the various procedures and policies that are being followed in the organisation, the ISO auditor will be able to identify possible gaps between the actual practice and the requirements stipulated in the ISO standards.
Stages of ISO auditors; what is ISO accreditation?
After identifying all potential gaps, the ISO auditor prepares an action plan to eliminate these deficiencies. A list of required tasks includes objectives, new policy or procedures, training programmes, communication channels and documentation needs. Strategies are also made to make all employees aware of the new changes.
The next step is the initial certification audit, which is divided into two categories: stage one and stage two. In the first stage, the ISO auditor will try to identify all possible nonconformities within the management system. Then, the ISO auditor suggests modification in processes and techniques to bring about the desired changes. The second stage of the audit takes place after a predetermined time interval. The ISO auditor does the final auditing to check if all nonconformities have been successfully eliminated. Secondly, this final auditing also helps to determine if the modifications have improved the quality standards, aligning them to the ISO recommendations.
If the ISO auditor is content with the organisation’s performance, the final audit report is created and forwarded to the registrar. The specific aspect of the company is awarded an ISO certificate based on its performance in the ISO audit report. The certificate remains valid if the organisation is able to maintain its quality through the annual conduction of surveillance audits. OHS certification Australia refers to employees safety in companies. For more information, Click on the related link.
ISO consultant; ISO accreditation meaning
Selecting the right ISO certification consultant is critical as the right ISO consultants can help the organisation get impeccable surveillance and auditing, helping them acquire ISO certification promptly. When selecting an ISO certification consultant, certain qualities should be kept in mind. The ISO consultant should have the relevant knowledge and expertise. This includes having a knowledge about the variety of ISO standards, experience in the field, history of consultancy and auditing theories. Similarly, client reference is an important quality that should be considered when choosing the right consultancy for ISO certification. As the organisation will be meeting the consultant for discussions, reviews and regular reports, communication and mutual understanding is an important quality to consider. The consultancy should be result oriented so that appropriate improvement strategies can be implemented within the scheduled programme, helping companies achieve the desired outcomes.