ISO 9001 Certification: Quality Management Systems
ISO 9001 is the internationally recognised quality management system standard.
The aim of ISO 9001 is to ensure consistent quality of services or products and to enhance customer satisfaction.
ISO 9001 has five main groups of requirements:
- General requirements for organising and managing your processes, documents and records
- Responsibilities of management
- Managing resources
- Review of services and/or products
- Improving the management system
The key benefit is it can lead to increased productivity with a reduction in waste.
Other competitive advantages include streamlined production and administration with improved documentation, greater employee awareness and fewer customer complaints.
At IMS we believe that the most effective way for us to conduct our business is to work with our clients as a partnership. Our commitment to your business continues after you have been awarded the certification with regular surveillance visits to promote continuous improvement.
We pride ourselves on having a 97% client retention rate which means we are doing something right.
As with all standards, they are subject to change every few years. We will keep you up to speed on all amendments through our regular newsletters and social media activity. We also post regular articles to help organisations with their implementation and understanding of management system requirements, you can access these through our articles page
Have questions? Why not check out our Frequently Asked Questions page
ISO 9001 Statistics
When you certify to ISO 9001 you will join over 1.1 million organizations globally who have implemented ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems Certification. ISO 9001 is the world’s most widely adopted Quality Management System (QMS).
Implementing ISO 9001 can not only bring your business credibility, it is also a powerful business tool and embraces a lot of the business tools we should all be using as a standard. However, many organisations think that they already use these tools, some do, but they do not necessarily use them effectively. Our expert auditors are trained in these business tools and can help to ensure you are getting the best bang for your buck.
We also get a lot of organisations telling us that they already have great systems, that might be true but putting some qualification to that statement can not only give your business the confidence, it can also go a long way in communicating that to your customers.
What is Context of the Organisation?
One of the key areas of ISO 9001:2015 which is confusing organisation is Context of the Organisation, the standard isn’t very kind in its use of terminology but when someone explains what it is in layman’s terms it’s actually pretty simple.
The Context of the Organisation is there to define the business; to not only help the organisation define what they are trying to achieve and for whom, but also to focus the system development on the key areas of the business.
There is a note within the clause of the standard which gives some guidance to what you should be defining and if we take those notes it will highlight one possible method for identifying the Context which could be familiar to a lot of people, or at least allow for a simple example or internet search to get a better idea of what you should be considering.
“NOTE 2 Understanding the external context can be facilitated by considering issues arising from legal, technological, competitive, market, cultural, social and economic environments, whether international, national, regional or local.”
We have produced a guide to help the understanding further which can be obtained below.
"We were very impressed with the professionalism in which our audit was carried out and would recommend IMS International if asked."
"Audit was conducted in a very professional way and I feel as always extremely comfortable whilst completing the audit. A very high standard"
3D Barrier Bags
"Auditor Johnmark was exceptional, very clever, very knowledgeable and very helpful, a very well educated auditor that knows his job exceptionally well"
"Excellent understanding of our QMS and business and some very useful suggestions for improvement for the future"
"Very Helpful and professional auditors. Will be using IMS for all future ISO audits"
Nevas Consultants Ltd
"Your Auditor Terry maintains the very best of Client Care towards us and is able to totally grasp our requirements. He has the ability to identify, highlight and discuss areas of the standard with us which demonstrates his professionalism in educating us moving forward."
John Arnold Commercials Ltd
"This was our first IMS audit. The day went very smoothly and we were very pleased with the outcome. Your auditor was very helpful and encouraging and showed an interest in the whole of our business."
"Many thanks for the report, Martin. And thank you to Steve and Paul too. As you know, this re-assessment was a major piece of work to us as we needed a new Quality/Environmental system that will support SYSTRA in its development in the coming months and years. It was very reassuring for us to receive your feedback and we are obviously delighted with the result. All of the staff you spoke to were very positive regarding yourselves. It can be daunting for staff to be ‘interviewed’ by an external auditor as they all realise the importance of the audit. However you all set everyone at ease, so thank you very much indeed. We are looking forward to moving forward with our new IMS across the business. Lots of challenges ahead! We look forward to working with you in the future."
"We were delighted with the whole procedure this year and the Auditor was extremely helpful"
"We were very thankful for Steve’s flexibility and his thoroughness in assessing our ISO 9001"
"IMS always audit with a goal of adding value to the business. The audits are thorough but are also designed around the specific niche of the business and not just solely around a generic template. This extra attention to detail enable the audit results to benefit the company moving forward."
"Speedy turnaround, very happy with service"
Kane Group Building Services Ltd
"I am very satisfied with the service from IMS International and the professionalism of the team of auditors. "
"As this was my 1st time leading an audit I was very happy with the way my 2 auditors explained and went through the audit process with me. Thank you."
Northern Hydraulics Ltd
"I just wanted to take the time to thank-you for the two days you spent with us – it was an extremely worthwhile audit and we learned a lot from it, and also benefited a lot from the manner in which you carried out the audit, and look forward to hopefully welcoming you back again next year."
Northern Hydraulics Ltd.
"Steve Rowe was an excellent auditor. He was especially adept at explaining any questions that I didn’t understand. He was the perfect auditor for a first time client."
The Window Company (Contracts) Ltd
"We really try and use our ISO accreditations to the benefit of the company. Through implementation and maintenance of the revised standard we have been able to identify some key areas of improvement that will help, not just our company but, the industry in general"
"Alan Gould’s professionalism and subject knowledge was fantastic. Alan really does take the ‘fear’ out of auditing and explains the full process very clearly. I found him to be patient with all of my questions and he also talked about what is expected for next year’s audit. I really did enjoy today and it is nice to see how the ISO processes being used within our company has really increased efficiency."
"I found IMS International to be very professional throughout the implementation process. It is comforting to know that we will be audited by such a responsible, professional organisation"
Transitioning to ISO 9001:2015
A major revision of the ISO 9001 standard was published in September 2015 and a three-year transition period began for certification bodies to transfer their clients from ISO 9001: 2008 to the 2015 version of the standard. The 2008 version will then cease to be valid.
ISO 9001:2015 offers better integration with other standards:
- Increased flexibility regarding use of documentation
- The introduction of risk-based thinking
- Greater involvement from top management
- Higher emphasis on performance monitoring and measuring
- Enhancement of the process approach
- A focus on stakeholder relationship management
However, to realise the benefits of the 2015 version of the standard, the new requirements can be demanding of both time and resources if not planned efficiently. There are 18 changes when compared to the 2008 version and some of these are major high level structural changes. In addition, brand new clauses have been introduced that filter down and impact other requirements.
The imminent deadline
For all organisations planning to transition to ISO 9001: 2015, the impending date is 15th September 2018.
It is a strict deadline which specifically outlines that all QMS certifications that have not completed transition to ISO 9001: 2015 by this date, including the transitioned QMS certificate uploaded and published into the OASIS database, will no longer be valid and shall have a certification status of ‘expired’.
It also states that the organisation will no longer be eligible for transition and an initial certification audit will be required
to establish conformance with the 2015 editions of the QMS standards.
Unfortunately, delaying the transition will be both expensive and time consuming to rectify.
IMS International is guiding its clients through this transition so they don’t risk losing their certification.
Many other standards are impacted by the changes to ISO 9001 due to it being a core standard in industry specific quality management systems such ISO 14001: 2015 and AS 9100 Revision D. Each of these standards have their own transition requirements but share the same deadline as ISO 9001: 2015.