5 Steps to ISO 9001 Certification

ISO 9001 is the international standard for quality management systems. Certification to ISO 9001 will benefit your whole business if implemented well. Here we take you through some simple steps to help you through the certification process.

1. WHO

Once you decide you are going to be certified to ISO 9001 you need to identify how to do this. If you don’t have anyone in-house who understands the standard you have two options. You may choose to send management or key staff for training, or you could engage a consultant to assist. Improve Consulting are experts in this process and always happy to help. Click here for a quote


Before you can develop your company’s management system it is always a good idea to do a gap analysis. This will identify the scope of the management system, and what you need to do to comply with the ISO 9001. Determine the processes in your business that are critical to delivering your product or service to your customer. Make sure you develop a policy that supports your strategic direction. You must set relevant objectives at appropriate levels within your organisation, making sure all of these are communicated to your staff.


When you develop your management system you need to engage a certification body. There are a multitude to choose from, so talk to them to find the best fit for your business. They will then conduct an audit, which is usually staged over 2 visits separated by a few weeks or months.The Stage 1 audit usually has a high level focus on whether you have systems and processes in place.


After the Stage 1 audit you need to ensure you conduct an internal audit of your system, and plan how you will conduct your internal audits on a regular basis. Senior management must also review the system, referred to as the Management Review.


Finally the auditor will return for the Stage 2 audit. They will be looking for evidence of implementing the systems you have put in place. If you have implemented your system in full compliance with ISO 9001 then you’ll be issued with a certificate. Congratulations!