How to get ISO certified

1. Select which management system to certify; for example, ISO 9001.

2. Determine the scope of certification, whether a specific process or the entire operation. Exclusions to parts of section 7 can be considered, but this is only permissible where the requirement does not apply to the organization, meaning if the organization has no design function, there is no design work to be controlled or audited.

3. Appoint a Quality Management Representative (QMR) for ISO 9001 who is responsible for the implementation and management of the ISO System, which includes providing administration and documentation support; developing, implementing, and driving plans to train employees; ensuring all relevant standard, procedures and policies are adhered to by the employees, evaluating the progress and report achievement to top management; and arranging the external  certification body audit.

4. The company can choose to train current employees or hire an experienced management system consultant.

5. Once the management system is developed and documented, communication and training activities occur. It usually takes a minimum of three months for data collection, which needs to be completed before the external site audit can be carried out.

6. Select which certification body to be use, making sure the company is accredited.

7. You will need to provide some basic information on the certification application, which will be used to confirm the total audit-man days and the dates of the Stage 1 and Stage 2 audits.

8. If the auditor does not find non conformance, they will recommend certification. It usually takes about 8 to 10 weeks to receive the certificate.

9. External auditor will come back on a yearly basis for surveillance audits. The audit man-days will be fewer than Stage 2 audit.

10. A re-certification audit will be required when the certificate validation expires. Plan the audit at least two months in advance of the expiration date to prevent your certification from lapsing.