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Nothing speaks to the quality of a business like a certification. Certifications establish credibility and generate positive expectations among consumers. They stand as evidence that a company meets crucial standards, as well as help a company stand out from its competition. Here, we'll discuss ISO certifications, including the various types and what it means when you have one.
What is ISO Certification?
ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is an independent entity that develops standards focusing on quality, safety, and efficiency for the production of goods and services. The organization establishes criteria for manufacturing, management, service, and documentation. If your company is compliant with ISO standards, that means it’s operating at a highly productive and efficient level.
Breaking Down the Certification
- An ISO certification consists of three parts:
- The standardization organization
- The specific standard that has been met
- The version of that standard.
If your certification is ISO 9001:2008, for example, it can be broken down in the following way: ISO is the standardization organization, 9001 is the type of standard, and 2008 is the year in which the standard launched.
It's important to note that ISO does not do the certifying. Instead, an external certification body audits a business to determine if it meets ISO criteria and is deserving of a certification. However, ISO does contribute standards that many external certification bodies use for the evaluation process.
Which Standard Should Your Company Strive Toward?
A standard in the 9000s relates to quality management; there are 14 total types within the class. 9001 is one of ISO's highest standards. It means your business has a quality management system in place that meets an array of specific requirements. It is customer-centric and scopes an organization from top to bottom, analyzing its effectiveness in producing quality products and services.
The 14000 class focuses on reduced waste and pollution. Businesses can earn an ISO 14001 certification if they meet the requirements of an Environmental Management System, which aims to protect the natural environment during production. This voluntary standard can create an eco-friendly culture that is sure to win over many customers.
With the intent of improving energy usage and efficiency across organizations, ISO introduced the 50001 standard. Like the 14001 standard, this standard requires the establishment and upkeep of an Energy Management System. More and more companies are operating with a 50001 certificate in mind, as it marks reduced greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs.
Risk management is essential to businesses of all types. ISO 31000 lays out a defined risk management system that helps to identify threats and vulnerabilities before they strike. Your business will benefit from this method’s goal of precise resource allocation and budgeting for projects.
Why Your Business Needs to be ISO Certified
ISO guides businesses in the right direction, in areas such as quality assurance, eco-friendliness, energy management, and risk control. Certification is something to be proud of, as it shows customers your company is operating at the most efficient level possible. You can market your certification on your company website, through ads, and word of mouth. If you begin the process towards ISO certification, your business will reap great benefits.