How Hard Is It To Get ISO Certification?

How hard is it to get ISO certification?

An ISO certification will require time, effort and improvement from areas of the business. However, the steps that must be taken are worth it for any company. It will benefit business owners, employees and customers.

An ISO certification ensures that a system or process meets quality, safety and efficiency standards. An ISO 9001 certification focuses on making businesses more efficient at satisfying customers.

ISO 9001 certification checkmark

How Hard Is It To Get ISO 9001 Certification?

There are a lot of questions and misconceptions about gaining ISO 9001. It may seem like a difficult and unnecessary process, but receiving an ISO 9001 certification will certainly benefit you.

Learning about the process is the first and most important step in getting an ISO 9001 certification. If you are aware of what getting ISO 9001 involves, it will make the process more simple for everyone.

What Does An ISO 9001 Certification Involve?

  1. Organizing processes
  2. Reviews
  3. Commitment

ISO 9001 certifications are all about creating and organizing an efficient, quality management system. Most businesses have processes in place, but those processes may need to change during the certification process to improve the management system.

Having an efficient management system with set standards is key to running a business. An ISO 9001 certification helps businesses to create these standards and officialize them. Keeping the processes of management organized and written out helps to make the ISO 9001 certification much easier.

During the process, a reviewer may become involved to help evaluate and improve existing systems. The reviewer will help to find parts of the system that do not meet the ISO 9001 standards. This way, the business will more easily be able to improve the existing management system to meet the required standards for certification.

Of course, once a business is ISO 9001 certified, the business must be willing to commit to the standards that have been put in place. Having official standards and certification helps businesses to do this, making this a simple task.

An ISO certification can seem like a major task, but it is one that will be worth it for the business as a whole. Becoming ISO 9001 certified is not difficult, but it will require changes to be made and it will require commitment to those changes.

How To Get ISO 9001 Certified

Now that you are aware of what an ISO 9001 certification involves, you should be ready to start the process. There are a few steps to follow when you are getting an ISO 9001 certification for a small business.

Basic Steps To Become ISO 9001 Certified

  1. Learn the ISO standards
  2. Implement and document the standards
  3. Get reviewed by an auditor
  4. Receive the certification

The first step to receiving an ISO 9001 certification is to learn the standards that are required to earn the certification. It is important to prepare by reviewing existing standards and processes in order to prepare to improve them.

Once a business is aware of the standards that must be implemented and the processes that must be changed, then the process can really begin. It is crucial to document the management processes, the employees’ responsibilities and all other organizational processes.

Implementing the ISO 9001 standards can be a major project. It is possible to hire a consultant from an ISO certified firm to help implement the standards that are required. This can be helpful for a newer business or for a business that has many changes to be made. The process can also be done without the help of a consultant.

Once the standards are in place, someone will need to review the processes to assure it is worthy of an ISO 9001 certification. The auditor will review the processes and help to improve anything that does not completely meet the necessary standards. The auditor will help to fix anything that has been missed and will help you in the process.

After being approved, the business will receive the ISO 9001 certification. By receiving the ISO 9001 certification, a business will have met the proper standards. After going through the certification process, your business will certainly have more efficient standards in place.

The certification provides guidelines and standards that the business will need to continue to follow even after the business is ISO 9001 certified. The processes that are implemented will be beneficial the employees, managers, owners and customers by creating a more efficient and fair business.

How Does The ISO 9001 Certification Process Work?

The process for becoming ISO 9001 certified is quite simple. There may be many requirements and there may be changes that need to be made, but it can easily be simplified to make the process much less intimidating.
There are three simplified steps to the ISO 9001 certification process for businesses to follow.

3 Steps Of The ISO 9001 Certification Process

  1. Reviewing the current processes
  2. Documenting new processes
  3. Committing to processes

The processes that a business has in place before becoming ISO 9001 certified may not meet the necessary standards required for the certification. Before becoming certified, a business must be willing to review its current processes. This helps the business to make the correct changes and to improve their system.

Once the business’ practices have been reviewed, you are in a position to improve them. The business will need to modify the current standards that are in place to meet the ISO 9001 standards. A consultant can help to implement new processes, or the business may do it on its own.

The new processes must be properly documented. Official documentation helps future employees and management to consistently follow the standards that have been created by a business. This helps employees, management and business owners to have official standards in place.

By documenting the official, ISO certified processes, a business is able to commit to them. Committing to the certified standards is one of the most important steps. Once a business has committed to the new standards, it will be able to run more efficiently with more satisfaction from management, employees and customers alike.

To assure that a business has committed to the ISO 9001 certified standards that have been put in place during the process, the business must be re-certified every three years.

ISO 9001 certified badge

Is The ISO Certification Worth it?

There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the ISO certification and the process of obtaining it.
The certification will benefit management, employees, customers and the business as a whole by increasing efficiency and productivity.

Why An ISO Certification Is Worth It

  1. Management
  2. Employees
  3. Customers
  4. Business

The management and the owners of a business will certainly find an ISO worthwhile. With an official and approved system in place, management will be able to enforce responsibilities and rules more easily.

An ISO certification will also benefit the employees. Certification assures that the system in place meets certain standards that benefit employees. Their responsibilities will be official and there will be processes in place for them.

Because of the efficiency that an ISO certification will create for a business, customers will be satisfied as well. They will certainly benefit from the official systems that have been put in place for the business. Certain standards also assure that quality standards are met for the customers’ benefit.

With management, employees and customers all benefiting from ISO , the business as a whole will be benefiting as well. With efficient processes in place, the business will not struggle as much through employee or management transitions.

The business will also benefit from the increased productivity. With the responsibilities of employees and management in place and standardized by your ISO documentation, there will be no question as to who is responsible for what. The responsibilities will be standardized to assure they are fair and reasonable.

With all of the benefits that come with becoming ISO accredited, it is almost impossible to say that the process is not worth the end result. It is important for a business to have officialized processes and to meet certain standards in order to satisfy customers, employees, management and owners.

Becoming ISO certified is an important step for any business to take. It may seem like a difficult process with paperwork, auditing and changes. However, the improvements that this certification process will create are worth the difficulties that may come with following the ISO 9001 certification process.

In conclusion, gaining ISO may require a lot of changes. It may require management processes to be altered. However, the benefits will certainly outweigh the difficulties of this process. A company that is ISO certified will find it simpler to satisfy everyone involved in the business.

ISO 9001 Implementation


Written: 20th April 2021
Author: Richard Keen

Richard Keen

Richard Keen

Richard is our Compliance Director, responsible for content & product development.
But most importantly he is ISO's biggest fanboy and a true evangelist of the standards.
Learn more about Richard