What should I do after ISO certification?November 29th, 2021 By Kaytieduffield
Gaining ISO certification is not an isolated event. Implementing an ISO management system isn’t just about checking a box or hanging a certificate on the wall; it’s about developing a holistic system to be lived in and adopted company wide. Therefore, what you do after ISO certification is just as important as the decision was to implement the standard in the first place.
I have ISO Certification; now what?
After completing the complex process of obtaining ISO certification, you may wonder, “what now?”. Firstly, we think you deserve time to boast. You have reached a significant milestone and should take time to celebrate and share your success.
Part of sharing your success is to obtain ISO-certified logos and other materials from your certification body that prove you now hold a specific standard. Include these on your email signatures, add them to your website, and share them on social media to highlight your accomplishment. If you partnered with IMSM, discuss what marketing opportunities are available to help you get the word out and celebrate your company.
After marketing your new certification, you may still have questions on what you can do with your ISO; below, we answer the most common questions:
- How do I maintain my ISO certification?
- Can I change my ISO certification body?
- Can I add additional standards?
How do I maintain my ISO certification?
Acquiring your ISO is the first step, but maintaining your ISO is where your Management System takes effect.
Follow your documentation:
Maintaining your ISO requires following the procedures, which align with your standard. Your management system provides a framework for your specific policies and procedures. Now that your documentation is written, it’s essential to raise awareness of the processes and train employees to follow them. Ensure you keep records and track activity for factual data to analyse as part of your management review.
Update policies as needed:
After any business change, you must update your policies and procedures accordingly. You will need to communicate these changes to all staff, so they understand and follow the new policies and procedures.
For a management system to run effectively, staff should attend regular training to learn how to adopt the new rules to ensure continual improvement. As a business owner or responsible person measuring the effectiveness of the staff training will, in return, better understand the progression and commitment of the staff to the newly earned certification.
Part of maintaining your ISO requires passing a third-party audit. However, internal surveillance audits are also a mandatory part of maintaining your ISO and ensure you continue to meet the relevant ISO standard requirements. Internal auditing is your company’s responsibility and should be carried out by either trained internal staff members or an ISO consultant with experience of your company and industry.
If you are looking to train staff members to become internal auditors, our training course provides comprehensive preparation for professional development. In addition, we also offer auditing support through our Managed Services.
When working towards ISO certification, your business must prove it is continually improving processes and procedures. The following points are areas to review and improve when working towards various ISO standards.
- Risks and opportunities
- Aspect and impacts
- Hazards and safety risks
- Analysis and evaluation of data
- Audit results
- Management review
- Non-conformity and corrective action
The PDCA cycle is also a great way to continually improve your company’s procedures in four simple steps, Plan, Do, Check, and Act.
Plan Do Check Act:
Plan-Do-Check-Act or PDCA Cycle is an ISO recommended process for implementing change within a company that, when repeated, should lead to constant improvement. The easiest way to explain the PDCA model is to envision the process as an ongoing cycle for improvement:
- Plan – set objectives “what” and “how”
- Do – implement and manage
- Check – monitor and measure results
- Act – take actions for improvements
Incorporating the PDCA Cycle into your company can help you as you strive for continual improvement.
Can I change my ISO certification body?
Yes. Businesses do this for different reasons, such as a bad experience, dissatisfaction with costs, or contract disagreements. If the certification transfer is done following the proper procedure, it is a straightforward transition, which doesn’t affect your ongoing ISO certificate.
Usually, when a company wants to change certification bodies, the new body will require a copy of your quality manual, certificates, and any past audit reports to help get the new consultants up to speed with your company’s progression.
There may be some conditions that your business has to meet in order to change the certification body, including having no outstanding non-conformances from your last audit report. These requirements are to cut down on any complications when transferring from one certification body to the other.
Can I add additional ISO standards?
After successfully implementing your first ISO standard, you may consider adding additional management system standards to your company. Many ISO standards are designed to be compatible and simple to integrate to help develop and grow a profitable company by delivering audit efficiency, consistency, and continual improvement
One of the most used combinations of ISO standards is using ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO/IEC 27001. This integrated management system can be suited to many business types. Not only because it shows your commitment to quality in the everyday running of your company (ISO 9001), but it also shows your commitment to the environment (ISO 14001) and your commitment to protecting the data held by your business (ISO/IEC 27001). There are other combinations available, and our team can discuss possibilities with you.
Other benefits include:
- Cost-saving: by no longer needing multiple inspections, you only pay one fee to audit your systems
- Improving efficiency: by avoiding duplication in internal audits, document control, training and administration. Helping future management systems be more effective
- Enhanced business focus: by having one system linked to the business’s strategic objectives contributes to an overall continual improvement
In conclusion, having an integrated management system gives you an overall understanding of your business needs, and saves time and money by implementing three standards simultaneously.
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