The other way of asking this question is “Why is there a series of international standards on things like Quality, Environment & Safety”
The key focus of international standards is to provide a more disciplined approach to management while encouraging a continuous improvement approach.
Getting certified to a standard tells your customers that an independent accredited organisation has verified that you comply with a set of internationally accepted good management principles. This provides confidence that:
- You have plan for protecting the environment (ISO 14001), meeting customer requirements (ISO 9001) or ensuring the occupational health and safety of yourself and others (AS/NZS 4801 or OHSAS 18001)
- You regularly check that you are following the plan
- Where your checking has highlighted discrepancies between plans and what you actually do, you will act to rectify the discrepancy (Sometimes, this may mean a change of plans, rather than compliance to the plan)
It doesn’t require you to run your business in any prescribed way – it’s your business. What the standards do prescribe are certain concepts, controls and disciplines to help you manage the business.
Different organisations have different reasons for getting certified.
- A major customer requires you to have quality assurance – often Government
- Certification can help improve your marketing edge or boost the confidence of your customers.
- You value having an independent 3rd party verify that you do what you say you do.
However the best reason to get certified is because following these internationally accepted practices will help improve your business and reduce risks by creating more efficiencies, reducing waste, reducing complaints, boosting your image as a responsible corporate citizen and probably creating a better environment for your staff.
In seeking certification your primary focus should not be on complying with the standards. Your focus should be on developing a management system that helps you to manage your business. Using the standards as a framework for the system will help you to establish controls and disciplines that have been demonstrated to work but the system should be as simple as you need to run your business.
How long does certification last for?
This will depend on the certification. ISO Certification lasts 3 years with an initial certification followed by two annual surveillance audits and then at the end of 3 years a re-certification – continuing the cycle.
This is described in some detail in our document The Certification Process, Timeframes for certification
The amount of time it takes for us to certify your company is dependent on the size and complexity of your business and any specific risk factors that may apply.
We will give you a quote indicating cost and time required, but we do our best to accommodate your immediate needs.
What is System Certification?
Having your Business management system certified to one or more of the four most recognised ISO and AS standards demonstrates to your customers and investors that your business delivers on its stated Policy statements.
Your management system will be assessed by experienced and professional Sci Qual (third party independent) auditors who will determine whether the system satisfies the internationally accepted requirements of standards such as:
Successful completion of the certification process includes an ongoing surveillance program which ensures that continued compliance is maintained. This can:
- Increase your credibility in the marketplace
- Give you an advantage when tendering to major companies or government departments
- Improve administrative efficiency
- Reduce operational failures and consequent rework
- Cut the costs of failures
- Prevent potential problems through trending techniques that are fundamental in the review process
An organisation who achieves this acknowledgement of compliance – Certification – is entitled to display the Sci Qual and JAS-ANZ symbols to demonstrate their commitment to delivering customer satisfaction in service and product delivery.
What better way is there to advertise your services to potential customers, view our free downloads for more information.