The International Organization for Standardization does not derive its abbreviated name, ISO, from an acronym alone. Instead, ISO comes from the ancient Greek word ísos, which means equal or equivalent.
And that’s the underlying idea. The goal of the ISO is to provide common standards among countries. A consumer or client can be assured that a product or service that meets ISO certification is safe and of high quality.
A quality management system (QMS) helps your company meet and maintain ISO standards. There’s even an ISO standard for QMS—ISO 9001—which is the most used QMS in the world.
ISO has developed more than twenty-four thousand international standards, and companies in all fields use them. These standards deal with IT and data security, environmental management, health and safety, and many other activities and products. One of the better-known standards, ISO 27001, deals with information security management.
After the standard is achieved, the QMS lives on and evolves to reflect your company’s changes. To achieve the benefits of and maintain the ISO certification, a commitment to “continual improvement” is required. A specific requirement of ISO 9001:2015 is “continual improvement” – this refers not only to a company’s products and services, but also to the QMS. The standard states: “The organization shall continually improve the suitability, adequacy and effectiveness of the Quality Management System. The organization shall consider the results of analysis and evaluation, and the outputs from management review, to determine if there are needs or opportunities that shall be addressed as part of continual improvement.”
At the end of the year, the company must submit a new assessment. Many companies hire a quality manager or assign an employee to assume the duties of quality management, but it can be difficult to evaluate your company objectively from within. Many companies do not have the budget or need a full-time dedicated employee. That’s why it pays to outsource your QMS after ISO 9001 certification to hands-on consultants who works with you throughout the year and can act on your behalf with the auditing body.Read More »