How the Role of ISO 9001 Certification Bodies Has Changed
The ISO 9001 certification has undergone many changes from its origins and so have the ISO 9001 certification bodies which are able to credit companies with the certification. The way in which the certification bodies work has been transformed from a process where they had little input in the certification procedure to one where the organisation works closely with the ISO certification body to achieve the standard.
ISO 9001 started off life as a standard developed for the MOD to make sure that any products supplied to them were of a high standard at the end of the Second World War – giving way to the idea of the first Quality Management System. With further developments into the manufacturing and electronic industry the notion was picked up by the British Standards Institute who formed BS5759 which broadened the industries able to implement the national standard. Following adoption from the International Organisation for Standardisation the ISO 9001 certificate is now internationally recognised and spans across all industries and sectors, implementing quality management systems into organisations to ensure the quality of products and services while increasing customer satisfaction.
But with this development how have the certification bodies evolved? Initially the process to be ISO 9001 certified was time consuming and costly, often meaning that many organisations missed out on the certification because it was simply too expensive and caused too much upheaval on the day to day running of the individual businesses. Organisations would have to hire an ISO 9001 consultant who would come into their business for sometimes as long as 6 months to review and document the quality management systems of the organisation. From this assessment they would produce a manual and outline suggestions to make the organisation compatible with the international ISO standard. Following the implementation of these suggested changes the company would then approach an ISO 9001 certification body. For a standard that is supposed to streamline business processes it seems a little bit odd that it was so longwinded and it was obvious that the certification process would have to change to make the ISO standard more accessible.
An initiative by QMS, a certification body, saw a complete overhaul of this system. Reducing the necessary hassle and paperwork meant that the certification as opened up to a wide range of businesses and this ISO 9001 certification body has now certified over 19,000 businesses in more than 150 countries. Their approach tied in the consultancy stage with the certification. Their assessors come into your business for between one and three days, carry out a gap analysis so you know where to improve to meet the international standard before compiling a manual and handing out a certification when the changes are made – and all within 30 days.