ISO accreditations: Understanding accreditation standards

Each organisation sets operating standards with the aim of ensuring quality service delivery. These measures are essential, but may not favour other players within the same field.  For this reason, the standards of operations must be made uniform.

With an international accreditation system, uniformity can be achieved. Such a system ensures that there is flawless service delivery, through constant and fair checks and balances. Most importantly, accreditation ensures that all players meet a particular level of quality standard and consistency, regardless of country or industry.

Typically, the International Organization for Standardisation accreditation (ISO), is responsible for accrediting institutions. It is an international, non-governmental and independent body whose primary role is to make sure that all systems, products and services offered are of unparalleled quality, safe and efficient.

Any institution that is ISO certified receives a seal of approval to show its compliance with the ISO management systems (that have international recognition). Accreditation is vital in the sense that it can be used to prove that an institution is indeed credible, giving confidence to potential clients.

While these accreditations cover all industries, there is a need to understand that each certification comes with different criteria and standards. Here are things you need to know if you are wondering how to gain ISO accreditation.

Is ISO certification similar to ISO accredited certification?

The straight answer is no.  ISO accreditation is also called ISO accredited certification; is when a company or an institution gets certified by an ISO body. Getting accreditation requires critically looking at an organisations system. So, it is a rigorous process. Note,  each country has only a single true organisation that accredits institution. So, any other organisation claiming to offer similar services may be misleading.

Take note that accreditation is not a mandatory thing in most countries. For a fact, the International Organisation for Standardisation, explains that if a company is not accredited, it doesn’t mean that the company is not reputable. It further gives an example of a company operating nationally and enjoys a good reputation. Such a company may not see it necessary to seek accreditation. Such a measure will only be an added expense.

Accredited certification body

An accredited certification body is an assessment or auditing body. As such, it doesn’t deal with the setup of the certification process, which an accreditation body does. In this case, you’ll have to employ consultants to implement the setup process first before certification. This is an expense, and it lengthens the time to get a certification.

A certification body

A certification body can be a consultant to implement the systems and can certify the company once compliant to the standards. The best part is that a certification body offers guidance to ensure that an institution maintains the status quo throughout the year. Again, it helps the intuition to use the systems to its benefit.

ISO 9001 Certification

ISO certifications are numbered numerically. For an organisation to receive ISO 9001 certification, it must have a well-defined quality management system, which it follows to the latter. Besides adhering to the set standard, the management system should be productive. Still, the system requires that organisations must be able to identify areas that need improvement and work on them to achieve those improvements.

Different industries and sectors are operating in the global marketplace. ISO 9001is both sector-specific and industry-specific. Therefore, various industries or sectors, e.g.,   medical devices, Software engineering, Local government, etc. are covered independently.

ISO 9001 focuses on the principle of management, some of which are:

  •  Motivation and implication of top management
  •  Strong customer focus
  • Process approach and continual improvement
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