The relevant international quality standard system that is relevant for modern organizations of today are defined in the ISO 9001 Standards. There are specific standards that apply to different organizations as per their nature of operation or the business category they fall into. There are certain general requirements for ISO 9001 certification that any organization needs to set up in order to be successfully certified by the authorized bodies.
What is required?
When an organization wishes to opt for ISO 9001 certification, they need to understand the scope of the standard and what kind of preparations they need to do in order to come inside such a quality standard framework. Usually an organization needs to seek help from consultants who can review the existing systems and processes of an organization and provide inputs on how to streamline the processes and set up systems that would be coherent to such standards. There needs to be a commitment from the senior management level as well as training and awareness at all employee levels. Some managerial or team leader personnel need to undergo diploma quality auditing as well.
Initial steps to be undertaken
When a quality management system is being implemented in an organization, there is much ground work to be done. As consultants propose, the ground work needs to be completed and the first step is to write down the comprehensive quality manual of the standard as applicable for the company. At the same time auditor training needs to be given to key personnel from different departments who can hold internal audits for different processes. When the quality management system is being put in place, an assessor or auditor will come and inspect whether the requirements of the standard are met by the company in the way the different functions and processes are executed.
The initial stage is to meet the gaps that exist between what is required as per the standards and present way of working of an organization. The next stage is that of stage 2 which is an assessment for certification. Here an external assessor or auditor will come to check whether the working processes meet the requirements as per the quality management systems of the relevant standard. Once the assessment is successful a certificate is issued to the organization.Usually an independent body of assessors comes on board to assess the setup of the processes and systems as per the requirements of the ISO standard that an organization is aiming to achieve. Organizations often seek help from a consultative body to provide nice experience in how to setup the different processes and systems.