What is ISO Certification?
ISO Certification has become one of the most widely recognized and understood assurance marks across the World. If you haven’t noticed the certification logos on vehicles, websites or letterheads yet – you will from now on!
Many of the management system standards we work with can be certified by accredited bodies, after a series of audits as discussed below.
One of the main attractions of ISO Certification is the certification mark that you can use to demonstrate having achieved a particular standard, however this is not the only benefit.
ISO Certification audits often provide useful feedback from an external party who may help you to identify improvements and efficiencies by testing your existing processes by looking for objective evidence.
ISO Certification for Tendering
Additionally, ISO Certification can provide a competitive advantage during the tender process, with many procurement departments taking ISO certification in to consideration at the early stages of a tender.
In some cases, certification can exempt organizations from answering entire parts of a pre-qualification questionnaire, which speeds up the response process.
The ISO Certification Process
The diagram (right) shows the typical ISO certification process.
Certification is achieved after the stage 2 visit and your certificate will be available a short time after the audit.
For the stage 2 visit there needs to be at least three months of records to show that the management system has been successfully operating in the organization.
Certificates are valid for three years, at which time a recertification audit is required.
During the three years, shorter surveillance audits are undertaken periodically to sample different areas of the management system.
The certification body will plan all the visits for the three year cycle during the Stage 2 audit. So you will know which dates they are coming and roughly what areas they will be auditing.
Assent International can provide support through the whole ISO certification process.