When explaining what the ISO 9001 certification means, we must refer to the relationship of this concept with the implementation of a Quality Management System (QMS) in the company or excellence according to management expectations, improvement and management of business indicators of the organization that applies it. In fact, the ISO 9001 standard is nothing more, in reality, than a set of guidelines and standards to follow that we use to implement a QMS following the guidelines of the International Standardization Organization (ISO), which are supported by a set of tools of risk management, processes and indicators of improvement that the company determines to what level of depth it wishes to apply them.
Organizations that want to increase their efficiency, focus their activity towards continuous improvement and guarantee customer satisfaction have this standard as one of their fundamental tools, and they should implement a QMS that meets their requirements. Organizations that want to achieve standards of excellence and reporting results can follow the same methodology, delving into risk analysis, management processes and indicators.
Let’s see how.
The implementation of a QMS or a business management model
When it comes to implementing quality systems or business management models in companies, the first step is to carry out an initial diagnosis of their situation. Afterwards, the documented information necessary for a correct implementation of said system throughout the organization will be prepared; This implies preparing information on the operation, control and protocol, while establishing a series of objectives and measurement indicators for each of them.
Once we have completed this phase, we will have to launch the system application. Something that will mean continuing with the usual operation, but ensuring that the measurement elements are available to guarantee efficiency and results and complying with the specifications, processes and established methods.
Internal audit and external audit
To ensure effectiveness, companies must conduct their own internal audits. This means that one or more members of the organization, duly qualified, ensure compliance with all the requirements defined by the organization and that are the basis of the result and of obtaining the corresponding certification. It must be verified that the indicators and record of the system’s operation are available, all the processes and methods established at all levels are followed and all the documented information is maintained that guarantees the effectiveness and quality of the data that mark the trends and state of our system. In addition, they must identify all those non-compliances, in order to be able to apply actions that eliminate the cause of the detected non-compliance. However, it is the external auditing entity that, through its audits, makes it possible to certify that a quality system based on the ISO 9001 standard has been correctly implemented and meets expectations. This must be carried out by a certifying company through its expert auditors who not only verify compliance with requirements, quality level and results obtained, but also provide an independent objective external assessment of high improvement value for the organization. to achieve their results and expectations from experience, the detection of strengths and weaknesses of organizations.
Certification and its implications
Certification is the key step in this process, because obtaining it means that the system in place is working and is yielding results. Without forgetting the evidence before third parties of our commitment to quality and improvement. This process is not only a certificate, but also involves the drafting of an audit report, which will determine the compliance or not of the system with information of high value for the management of the organization that must be integrated into its internal business reports.
If this report includes any non-compliance, do not worry, it is normal and even positive for improvement, since the certifying entity will set a deadline for proposing corrective actions that will assess their efficiency and effectiveness for the good of the company. business. The certification is valid for three years, with annual follow-up audits by the entity and after which we will have to completely re-audit to renew the certificate; Thus, it is possible to check with an adequate frequency the evolution, trend and progress of our system and results, complying with and following the guidelines and requirements of the ISO 9001 standard.