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What is ISO Certification?


ISO 9001:2008 is an internationally recognized quality standard.  Chances are if you’re reading this you are interested in pursuing ISO certification for your business or organization.  If you want to know more about the history and organization of ISO, please visit their web site at www.iso.ch.

The International Organization for Standardization is based in Switzerland and is a network of national standards institutes.   The ISO 9001:2008 quality standard is perhaps the most well known quality standard in the world, and is recognized around the globe.  In its early days the quality standard was most popular in Europe, but then began to take hold in North America, South America, and Asia as well.   

By following the requirements of the standard, and having annual audits by an accredited third-party auditor, your company or organization can become ISO certified.  You will get a very nice plaque to hang on the wall, and you can make copies of your certificate to send to customers.

There is an often repeated phrase in the ISO community that the standard simply requires organizations to “say what we do, and do what we say”.  Though very simplified, this statement is at the heart of the ISO quality standard.

The ISO quality standard requires organizations to document their quality system, including having a manual and documented procedures.  Documentation is what you say you do.  Records must be kept, and periodic audits performed,  to prove that you are “doing what you say”.

The ISO quality standard is a kind of worldwide recognized calling card.  It tells other companies that you are a professional, quality-driven organization that should be taken seriously.  Even if you are a very small company, having the ISO certificate can give you a serious advantage over your competitors.

There are other benefits to getting ISO certified.   The ISO quality standard is aimed at increasing your quality, decreasing mistakes, decreasing returns, and increasing customer satisfaction.  In today’s increasingly competitive business environment, customer satisfaction is more important than ever.  An ISO quality system provides an organized framework for improving your organization, and improving your customers’ satisfaction with your product or service. 

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