WHAT ARE ISO STANDARDS AND WHY ARE THEY SO IMPORTANT

Nowadays it is very important to know what the ISO 9001 standards are : as Ansa reports on its website, this year the ISO 9001 standards finally come of age and, although they are now used to certify the quality of products and processes in many companies across Europe, a very large number of entrepreneurs still have no idea what they are, their importance and how to get them.

The family of ISO 9000 standards concerns quality management systems and whose standards”They define the requirements for the implementation of a quality management system in order to conduct business processes and improve efficiency in the creation of the product and in the provision of the service.” 

There are various versions of ISO 9000 but the best known is the set of ISO 9001 Standards, the only one of the family that can be certified by the various companies, while the others are simply optional guidelines to favor the correct use of a system of efficient quality and which is continuously revised since its creation in 1994.

From a study carried out by the BSIgroup, a lot of interesting information emerged regarding the use of the ISO 9001: 2008 standards (i.e. the revision prior to that of 2015). The infographic below demonstrates that compliance with these standards improves your product or service and visibly reduces the risk of errors.

STUDY CARRIED OUT BY THE BSIGROUP

The ISO 9001: 2015 standards (yes, this standard had another revision in the near 2015) are born to guarantee the complete satisfaction of the final customer. These standards define generic principles that the various organizations must follow in order to guarantee the monitoring of the control of the production process, and evaluate the effectiveness of the company over time.

Starting from the definition of procedures and registrations up to the single processes, it is possible to define and optimize the production process in a cyclical way.

Precisely due to its proven effectiveness, the ISO 9000 standards are used in industry as reference models for the qualification and selection of suppliers and in contracts between suppliers and customers.

Now that you understand the importance of ISO standards both in your sales and in the quality of your processes and the final product, you need to know how to obtain the certification associated with the ISO 9001 Standards.

THE HISTORY OF ISO 9001 AND ISO 9001 AUDITS: WHAT HAS CHANGED OVER TIME?

ISO 9001 has changed with the passage of time: the first editions were extremely focused on simple quality control and how to ensure product quality, focusing heavily on industrial, corporate and product-only companies. Only later did the set of rules become more flexible, binding to all sectors and available to any type of company, from the largest to the smallest, from product suppliers to service providers.

The ISO 9001 audits have also changed: today they are a systematic and documentation-based inspection that serves to confirm that the requirements have been complied with in a compliant manner as a product of an internal culture within the organization, thus demonstrating the homologation of processes and procedures that must be documented and standardized.

What does it mean?

In short, during the inspection documents will be collected and interviews will be carried out with the staff to establish whether the result of the product or service, through the process described, is a random effect or an effect pre-established by the quality standards.

  • L ‘ audit system – in this audit are assessed all the elements of quality management systems. The system documentation is judged and verified if there are defects in the production of the documentation that can be reported and resolved through preventive or corrective actions.
  • The Process Audit – in this audit a specific process is taken to verify that it complies with the indicated characteristics. This audit can be carried out on any process, from the physical ones (during the production of the product) to the administrative ones, in order to assess the quality level of the processes and verify ways of improving them.
  • The Product Audit – During this audit, it is verified that the product, or service, during a specific phase, is compliant with what is reported in the references relating to that part of the process. In this case, it is possible to check the status of the product during a specific production phase.
  • The Program Audit – It is a workflow check. With this check, it is possible to determine whether a program, aimed at achieving quality objectives, is completed within the proposed time frame and under the previously defined responsibilities.

HOW TO OBTAIN ISO STANDARDS FOR YOUR COMPANY AND WHY COMPLY WITH ISO STANDARDS

You have already seen that there are many advantages obtainable thanks to ISO 9001 certification: in addition to all the advantages in terms of optimization of production and competitiveness on the market, it is important to note that many jobs can be carried out only with the help of these certifications. A concrete example is a public procurement, which mandatorily requires compliance with these quality standards.

But how is ISO certification obtained? This type of standard are normally verified by an external consultancy company that will allow you to define the quality system manager, will analyze all company processes, and will confirm them to current standards, also defining the procedures and instructions that will describe the related processes. products or services (and will recommend software suitable for keeping this documentation, such as DMS ).

This consultancy company will also help in the creation of the forms necessary for the inspection of the certification body, thanks to the creation of the quality manual, and in internal audits to be sure that the procedures and work instructions are respected.

Once everything is done, the certification body checks through an ISO 9001 audit that all the standards are respected and gives a three-year quality certification.

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