Demystifying the ISO Certification Process

What is ISO Certification?

ISO certification is the process of independent verification that a business or organisation has achieved best practise management systems in a topic. Some of these management systems include the ISO 9000 Quality Management, ISO 50000 Energy Management or ISO 27000 Data Security Management.

Ahead of Certification Europe’s seminar with the Irish Exporters Association, we will take a look at some of the common misconceptions about the ISO certification process.

ISO Accreditation vs ISO Certification

This is one of the most common mistakes that organisations make. Businesses looking for a management system should gain an ISO certification from an accredited body. The accreditation means that the Certifying body has been approved, deemed competent, by a national certification body such as INAB or UKAS, to issue certifications so business can rest assured that there auditors and audits have been carried out to best in class standards.

What do the numbers mean in ISO Certification?

The International Organisation for Standardisation has developed multiple best practise standards across hundreds of fields. Each of these “families” has a number. ISO 9000 is the quality management family but businesses will be certified to ISO 9001.

Similarly ISO 50000 is the family number for energy management but the standard against which business will be audited against is ISO 50001. This applies against all ISO standards so ISO 27000 is the family for Data Security and ISO 27001 is the certification for businesses who want best practise data security.

What is involved in ISO certification?

As an accredited Certification body we conduct to audits, a stage 1 and a stage 2 audit. These audits may take place as close as two months but they could be as far apart as necessary to fix major non-conformances. We may also offer training and a gap analysis depending on the ISO standard that you wish to gain certification to. When these steps have all been completed your organisation will be audited by one of our ISO certification experts and finally your ISO certification will be awarded.

Can I combine my ISO certification management systems?

The simple answer is yes. All of the management systems focus on the basic principles of “Plan, Do, Check, Act” and they are therefore quite compatible. We have many clients who combine two or three certifications using the same management infrastructure. This ensures end to end best practise over multiple standards of business. Imagine being able to boast that your business has best in practise Health and Safety, Quality and Waste Management. We even have a limited number of clients who have combined four standards. True pioneers and progressive companies.

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