International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published more than 21,000 ISO standards; each is cutting-edge, innovative, relevant and practical. To say that there is one ISO certification that is better than the rest is a misunderstanding of how ISO standards work. Just like a soulmate in every love story, there is a perfect ISO certificate that will cater to all your needs. Let us discuss how to select the best ISO certification for your organisation.
What is an ISO certificate?
Let us first begin by understanding the difference between ISO standards and ISO certification. ISO standards are management-specific recommendations published by ISO, so organisations can refer to the instructions and improve their operational capabilities in that area. When an organisation adheres to these recommendations, they achieve self-declared compliance. Although compliance can help the organisation improve their operational capabilities, streamline the processes and engage with the employees, it will not bring international recognition or better brand credibility. An accredited certification body must validate its compliance with these two benefits. This process of validating conformance leads to an ISO certificate. Essentially, during the certification process, an auditor from the accredited certification body evaluates the organisation's documents, process and personnel to ensure that it complies with the chosen ISO standard.
What are some popular ISO certifications?
Here is a list of the popular ISO certifications commonly adopted in Australia and globally. These include:
o ISO 9001: This is the most popular quality management standard, which details how to build an efficient Quality Management System (QMS) to prepare your organisation for a customer-focused environment that continually improves and adheres to customer requirements. The standard provides a set of principles that combines the company's objectives in the marketing plan, embedding customer focus in the competency management plan so that every employee understands how their actions would improve the customer experience.
o AS 9100: The purpose of this standard is to standardise quality management systems for the aerospace industry by incorporating essential elements of ISO 9001 but also adding requirements related to defence, space, aviation and safety. The standard is readily adopted by many aerospace manufacturers and suppliers, helping them improve quality, control costs, and optimise delivery performance.
o ISO/TS 16949: This standard is specific to the automotive industry and focuses on avoiding errors by defining the requirements for developing, producing and installing automotive parts.
o ISO 17025: This standard enables laboratories to demonstrate that they generate valid results by operating competently. It highlights and improves the technical competence of laboratories so that the management system guarantees test results consistently and accurately.
o TL 9000: This standard incorporates all critical aspects of ISO 9001 and modifies them for the telecommunications industry by adding specific requirements for hardware, service, segments and software, helping organisations focus on strategic planning, customer needs and accountability.
o ISO 13485: This standard is specific to the health industry and outlines competency gains to education, certification, skill development and experience. It outlines the QMS for organisations that produce medical equipment and devices.
o ISO 29001: This standard focuses on organisations that work within the oil and gas supply chain and is intended to create a high level of operational integrity by supplementing best practices and processes to ensure safety, high performance, and quality.
o ISO 27001: Any organisation that deals with sensitive data must implement ISO 27001. It helps enhance the competency management of an organisation by implementing an effective Information Security Management System (ISMS) that enhances the authenticity, confidentiality and integrity of sensitive data. This set of policies, procedures, plans, records, and documented information protects the organisation from data breaches, cyber thefts and hacks.
o ISO 22000: If you are an organisation working in the food sector, then ISO 22000 is imperative. The standard protects you against all food-related hazards by erecting a robust Food Safety Management System (FSMS) that helps you address and mitigate all your risks while improving your quality so that the food you deliver is safe for consumption, unadulterated, hygienic and nutritional.
o ISO 14001: This is an essential standard in today's climate, where organisations exploit nature. The standard helps preserve nature by building a vigorous Environmental Management System (EMS) that reduces wastage, improves resource management and enhances profitability.
How to select the best ISO certification?
We understand that the variety of ISO standards available may seem confusing to you. To simplify and optimise the selection process, begin by identifying areas you want to improve. After all, it is best to select an ISO certificate that aligns with your organisational aspirations. Here, a potent and effective tip is to hire an ISO 9001 consultant
. Not only will they explain the benefits of each standard and the relevance of the standard in your industry, but they will also help you implement and troubleshoot your management system.
The standard that aligns with your organisation's aspirations and strategic direction is the one that is the best for you. Popular ISO certifications include ISO 9001 certification
for quality management, ISO 14001 for environmental performance management and ISO 27001 for information security management.