What is ISO standards certification and why is it important?

What is ISO standards certification and why is it important?

Franco Brutti

Aug 19, 2023

Aug 19, 2023

Aug 19, 2023

What is ISO standards certification and why is it important?
What is ISO standards certification and why is it important?
What is ISO standards certification and why is it important?

Do you have a company and want to be sure that the products or services you offer are of the best possible quality? Then you need ISO standards certification.

We’re well aware that quality is one of the most important aspects within any type of company or business.

That’s why there are also a series of regulations that seek to govern and preserve the quality standards of any institution.

It’s there where ISO standards are presented as one of the most globalized nowadays.

But what is this all about and why is it important for your business?

Well, we will explain everything you need to know about it:

First... What is ISO and what are its standards about?

If you have no idea what ISO is, you should know that it’s the International Organization for Standardization.

This is a non-governmental organization that is in charge of international cooperation regarding industrial quality standards.

This institution has been in charge of creating a series of norms or standards that companies have to follow and comply with if they wish to guarantee the quality, efficiency and safety of their products or services.

At present, there are more than 23,000 standards created by ISO and each one of them is focused on a specific management.

Therefore, no matter what type of business sector your company is in, you can be sure that among the ISO standards there will be some that you can beneficially apply.

So... What is ISO certification?

Having clear what this organization is all about, we must also explain what ISO certification is.

As its name indicates, it’s a certificate that is awarded to those companies that comply with the correct application of one of the ISO standards.

And we say one of them because it’s impossible for a single company to want to apply to all of them completely; on the one hand, because there are too many of them and on the other hand, because they vary according to the type of company seeking to apply them.

So, if you have a clothing manufacturing company, for example, you need to find out which ISO standards you can apply to improve the quality of your production and sales.

Once this is done, you will be able to apply the necessary changes and then go through the ISO evaluation and, if everything is OK, receive the proper certification.

Why is ISO standards certification important?

It’s important to bear in mind that this certification is not mandatory, nor is it a mandatory requirement to be fulfilled in order to work.

However, it is true that, if you have it, you will be able to significantly improve the working situation of your entire company.

This is thanks to the fact that the correct application of this type of regulation generates a positive impact on each and every one of the business aspects.

If you are not yet fully convinced of the importance of this type of certificate, here are some of the most striking aspects of it:

1. Improves the quality of the product or service

Since you need to implement a rigorous quality management system to obtain such certification, the entire work process will improve dramatically.

Of course, improving the quality of your products or services will always be important.

By doing so, you ensure that you offer your customers what they need in the highest possible quality, which will make them become regular customers of your business.

2. Improves the company's image

It should also be noted that this certification is important because it will help you improve your company's image.

Keep in mind that ISO standards certification is a sign of commitment to quality and continuous improvement.

Therefore, after obtaining the certification you can demonstrate to customers, suppliers and employees that the company is committed to excellence and is willing to invest in improving its processes and products.

This will undoubtedly make everyone involved believe more strongly in your business project.

3. Increases efficiency and productivity

Another positive impact that you will perceive after implementing a better quality management system is the optimization of the entire production process.

This implies that you will be able to increase the efficiency at the time of working, while reducing production times.

This will allow you to enjoy an incredible profitability that will allow you to continue growing as a company over time.

4. Legal and regulatory compliance

Most interesting of all, applying these standards will also help you deal with legal and regulatory issues.

At the end of the day, another objective of ISO standards is to help companies with compliance.

So, if everything we have mentioned so far has seemed little to you, this point is surely striking, as we know that legal issues are often tedious.

5. Access to new markets

Although it is true that ISO certification is not mandatory at the local level, if you want to expand your services internationally, you may need this certificate.

This way, you will be able to demonstrate to the foreign market that you have what it takes to offer them products and services of the highest quality.

So, thanks to this certification, companies can access new markets and increase their international presence.

6. Competitive advantage

Finally, it should be noted that having ISO standards certification will allow you to have a distinctive seal that will make you stand out from all your competition.

This, of course, assuming that they do not have this certification as well.

If that is the case, then you would have a clear advantage, because this certificate allows you to demonstrate your commitment to quality and continuous improvement, which will make customers prefer your products, rather than those of others.

Why is ISO standards certification important?

What is the process to obtain an ISO certification?

In order to be eligible for ISO certification, you must go through a fairly complete process that may take time, but is certainly worth it.

You have to keep in mind that your company will need to comply well with everything specified in the standards if it wants to obtain the certification.

So, in order for you to take into account everything that your business will have to go through before being certified, here are the steps to follow:  

  • The initial assessment: the first thing to do when pursuing the goal of obtaining this certification is to conduct an internal assessment within the company to determine whether it meets the requirements of the corresponding ISO standard.

  • The implementation of the system: once this is done, it will be time for the company to start implementing the necessary quality management system so that the standards of the chosen ISO standard are perfectly met.

  • An internal audit: when all the changes have been fully implemented, the company conducts an internal audit to verify that its system meets the requirements of the ISO standard.

  • An external audit: after this first audit, a second audit is required in which an independent certification body verifies that the company complies with the requirements set out in the standard.

  • The delivery of the certification: after an arduous evaluation process, if the company meets the requirements of the ISO standard, the evaluating body issues the certification to the company.

Is ISO certification valid for a certain period of time?

One of the most frequent doubts about the ISO certificate has to do with its validity time.

You have to take into account that this certificate is not valid forever, but has a validity period of three years.

Therefore, even if your company has already received ISO certification, it must continue to comply with the requirements of the standard in order to maintain its certification.

That way, when it’s reassessed at the end of the three years, it will be able to receive the renewal of the certificate without any problem.

Frequently asked questions about ISO certification

While it is true that you already have a more complete idea of what this type of certification is and how it works, there are still some points that may raise doubts.

That’s why we’ve decided to include a section of frequently asked questions.

That way, you will be fully prepared for the whole process of obtaining this certification:

1. What happens if I do not receive ISO certification?

If you do not meet all the requirements for ISO certification for any of the standards, you will fail the assessment.

This means that you will not be able to receive the certificate in question.

This does not mean that you will never be able to receive it, you will just have to work hard to resolve the issues that are not in accordance with the standard.

Once you consider that you have fulfilled all of them, you will be able to go to the external audit to be evaluated so that next time you can obtain the certificate.

2. Is there a fee to receive the ISO standards certificate?

Indeed, it’s necessary to pay a certain amount if you wish to receive an ISO certification on any of its standards.

However, the cost to be paid may vary according to the standard in question that you wish to apply in your company.

It will also depend on the country you are in and the price established by the certification bodies for the evaluation.

Therefore, we cannot give you a specific amount, so you will have to find out how much it will be on your own.

3. Is ISO certification expensive?

Generally speaking, yes, it’s something that requires a large investment of money.

At the end of the day it’s not just a matter of paying the certification company for the audit and the certificate, but also investing in improvements in business management.

This is a clear investment of both time and money.

Of course, even though the total amount you will spend may seem high, you have to remember that all the benefits you will get will be worth it.

4. Is it mandatory to have the certificate?

The truth is that in no country is it mandatory to have this certification in order to work.

So, it’s not at all a document that you have to obtain, no matter which labor sector your company belongs to.

However, it’s undeniable that it’s something that can be of great help to you, but in that case you can do what many other companies do: take the suggestions of the ISO standards and apply them as they deem necessary without having to go through the audit process.

At the end of the day, only you know which aspects your company needs to improve and you will work to improve them, not just for the sake of a certificate, but to keep the company afloat.

In conclusion, ISO standards are an important part of business news in the world in general and their level of impact is undeniable.

Therefore, if you want to be guided by them to raise the quality level of your company's products, you can be sure that you will begin to enjoy a series of incredible benefits that will allow you to improve your brand image.

So, don't think twice, investigate which ISO standards you should apply and try to obtain the certification as soon as possible.

Leave us in comments any questions you may have on the subject, maybe other members of our community can help you answer them.