When you want to add credibility to your company and your products, the main route to go throughout the world is to get ISO Certification. This certification can help to demonstrate that your products and services will meet the expectations of customers and potential customers, through meeting international standards.
What is ISO Certification?
ISO stands for the International Organization for Standardization, and it concentrates on standards for services and products mainly in the sphere of manufacturing. It can range from standards for documentation, to standards for the dimensions and tolerances of flat transmission belts, and much more.
Steps for Certification
In order to get certified, you can look into hiring a consultant, or you can learn about the process on your own. A consultant is more likely to be useful for a large company, while a small company will usually have an easier time and can be handled in-house.
- Choose the ISO Certification you would like to pursue: There are over 19,000 ISO standards available, fitting into a number of ranges. The ISO 9000 range (Quality management), ISO 14000 (Environmental management), ISO 27001 (Information security management) and ISO 50001 (Energy management) are some of the most popular in general manufacturing.
- Prepare documentation: This includes a quality manual with procedures. You will want to use an existing template and conform it to your industry and business, as it won’t be the same for everyone.
- Train your employees: While all employees will need to be trained in sections of the ISO, only a few will need to be trained in all aspects. Make sure everyone knows the reasoning behind the pursuit of certification, and how to deal with corrective and preventative actions.
- Find a registrar to work with: the ISO does not do the certification – instead, it relies on a network of independent registrars. Speak with a few of them before hiring one, find a registrar that fits in with your style and budget.
- Set the date: Before you ask a registrar to take a look at your system, you will want to have it implemented for 3 months at minimum, and possibly conduct your own internal audit to make sure you don’t waste your registrar’s time, and your money.
- Get the audit: An audit will involve the auditor examining records, talking with employees, and exploring your facilities. During this time, they will look for major and minor “nonconformances,” as well as observations. Nonconformances represent areas where actions and records are not conforming to the ISO standards.
After all of this, you will get your ISO certificate, and be allowed to boast you have been certified. It’s up to you to maintain that certification beyond the audit, and you’ll need do schedule semi-annual surveillances and a renewal every three years. At Riverside Brass, we are ISO 9001:2008 certified through NSF International, and will continue to practice these processes to provide our customers with quality products.