ISO Frequently Asked Questions

What is ISO?

ISO certified means that a company has proven that it follows the standards developed by the International Organization of Standardization. So why isn’t it called IOS certified since it is developed by an organization with that acronym? That is due to the fact that it is an international standard, therefore in different languages it would have a different acronym, so they decided to simply name it “ISO” no matter what language it is in, because after all the standards are supposed to be the same for each country so it only makes sense that the name remains unchanged as well. It is also very close to a Greek word, isos, which means “equal”, another reason for the choice of acronym.

An ISO certified company is one that complies with various international standards such as product quality, environmental friendliness, safety, reliability, and economical. These are all things that consumers look for, and often take for granted, when buying a product, but not all companies hold themselves up to such a standard.

What is a Certified Company?

Companies that are ISO certified are focused on improving their quality and create quality initiatives to help them identify areas of improvement and plan strategic implementations. This covers all aspects of a company with a focus on quality and meeting customer needs. All companies can implement the requirements of ISO certification, no matter their size or category of product. Certification occurs whenever a third party visits a company and assesses the management of the company. If the company meets the standards, this third party will then issue a certificate.

Many entrepreneurs are interested in obtaining ISO certification for their company. This is because this certification will put them a notch above the rest and rise in the level of quality and reputation. Of course, many of these small entrepreneurs face challenges due to a lack of commitment from top management, difficulty in documentation, lack of training in ISO certification, cost of certification, lack of planning, and a resistance to change. Even with these factors, a small entrepreneurial company can obtain the certification which will help them reap many benefits in the future.

How long has ISO been in business?

ISO has been establishing standards since 1906. The ISO 9000 Series for Quality Assurance was introduced in 1993 and has become the most widely-known.

Why is an ISO 9001 certified system important to me?

The ISO 9001 certification gives you and your customers assurances that you are doing exactly what you say you are doing.

FAQs on new ISO 9001:2015 Quality Standard

You may have heard that the ISO 9001 Quality Standard is now under review, with an updated version due out by the end of 2015.

So how does this affect you?

Are you currently developing an ISO 9001:2008 system? Continue as planned as your system will remain relevant to your organisation. And new ISO 9001:2008 certificates will be issued up to twelve months after the publication of the new ISO 9001:2015 standard.

Have you already got an ISO 9001:2008 system? Following publication of ISO 9001:2015, you have a three year transition period to update your system. And should you need help, ISOCEL can support you through this process. Your existing ISO 9001:2008 system will continue to be recognised and audited up to the expiry date on your certificate.

What is the timetable for the introduction of ISO 9001:2015? 2015 – September – The final International Standard is published 2018 – September – Deadline for organisations to complete transition to the new requirements

What impact will the changes to ISO 9001:2015 have on your organisation? The key changes proposed in the International Standard are:

  • The emphasis on leadership
  • The focus on risk management
  • The emphasis on objectives, measurement and change
  • Communication and awareness
  • Fewer prescriptive requirements. We do recommend that you familiarize yourself with the new high level structure and proposed changes. What is Annex SL? Annex SL provides a common framework for international management systems standards. The idea is to make it much easier to integrate different management systems with each other. How can ISOCEL help you with ISO 9001:2015? Once the new ISO 9001:2015 Quality Standard has been published, ISOCEL will be able to navigate you though the revisions required to ensure your Quality Management System remains robust and compliant.
  • We will also offer guidance on:
  • What do you need to do in the meantime? Ensure that your current Quality Management System remains compliant with ISO 9001:2008 until the new standard has been implemented.
  • Where can I find out more information? An overview of the revisions proposed for ISO 9001:2015.  Video on presentation of the new high level structure for all new management systems.
  • How can you prepare for the new standard? Until the new standard is published there is not a lot to be done. However, you can make senior management aware that changes are coming. A transition plan and resources will be required.
  • The new ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Standard (expected publication: September 2015)
  • The new ISO 45001 Standard on Occupational Health and Safety Management which will replace BS OHSAS 18001 (expected publication: October 2016).