ISO Certification is More Than a Piece of Paper

By: Berlin Packaging Specialist
Date: October 28, 2019

ISO Certification

Oftentimes you will hear a company say “we’re not ISO 9001 certified but we follow the same guidelines” or something to that effect. Certainly someone from one of these companies could have attended an ISO seminar or downloaded copious amounts of ISO-related literature from the internet and sent out memos on the topics. Under these circumstances you could certainly infuse your organization with ISO jargon and even make some improvements to your Quality Program; but these efforts fall short of the value of ISO certification.

ISO certification is the internationally recognized standard for the quality management of businesses. It applies to the processes that create and control the products and services an organization supplies. It prescribes systematic control of activities to ensure that the needs and expectations of customers are met. It is designed and intended to apply to virtually any product or service, made by any process, anywhere in the world. Ultimately, ISO is about continuous, honest improvement…a culture of excellence.

For instance, what good is collecting customer feedback if your Senior Management never hears about it? The Management Review process ensures customer feedback and performance metrics are reviewed by Senior Management regularly. Quality Objectives are required by the ISO Standard and documentation of the results takes place whether or not you are meeting them; without reporting requirements results might only be shared when they were favorable. Most importantly, ISO 9001 requires both internal audits and independent audits of an organization’s Quality Management System. These audits ensure that all the elements of the Standard are being consistently followed. Over time, this transparent and honest approach creates a true culture of excellence. The Certification helps the culture, which, in turn, reinforces the Certification.

There are many lessons and ideas that one can take from ISO 9001, but a true certification to the ISO Standard is your guarantee that all those components are working together. Working with partners and suppliers that embrace ISO will certainly increase the odds of your own success.