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What is ISO?
Does ISO (International Organization for Standardization) provide certification and/or conformity assessments?
Is the ISO Edge an ISO certification body?
What does ISO do to help an organization?
What’s the difference between Quality Management Systems and Business Management Systems?
Do I need to pursue ISO certifications?
I’m an entrepreneur who opened a very popular café in our locale. Should I pursue ISO?
My organization provides services. Are ISO standards applicable to us?
How long will it take to become Certified?
How much does it cost to become Certified?
Where can I find a competent speaker to make a presentation on ISO and other related standards?
There seem to be a lot of numbers. What is ISO 9000?

 

What is ISO?

ISO is an independent, non-governmental organization established in 1947. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies from some 160+ countries and includes over 3,000 technical bodies.

Their mission is to promote the development of standardization and related activities in the global marketplace with a view to facilitating the international exchange of goods and services, and to developing cooperation in the spheres of intellectual, scientific, technological, and economic activity.

ISO’s work results in international agreements that are published as International Standards. These, in turn, help maintain quality, consistency, efficiency and safety across industries and countries. ISO certification demonstrates that a company’s manufacturing processes, services, documentation procedures and management systems meet the requirements of standardization and quality assurance.

Interestingly, ISO is not an acronym for the International Organization for Standardization, but is derived from the Greek word isos, meaning equal (e.g. isosceles triangle, meaning equal sided). The acronym ISO was adopted by the IOS as their name because it is valid in any language including English, French and Russian, the three official languages of ISO. The complete explanation can be found on page 1 of the International Organization for Standardization home page, www.iso.org.

Does ISO (International Organization for Standardization) provide certification and/or conformity assessments?
No, ISO does not provide certification or conformity assessments. Organizations pursuing certification need to contact an accredited Certification Body.
Is the ISO Edge an ISO certification body?
No. However, we work closely with these organizations and can refer you to an appropriate, high calibre ISO certification body. At The ISO Edge, we provide the support and lay the groundwork for your company to become ISO certified.
What does ISO do to help an organization?
ISO is about building management systems which are discipline specific. Putting ISO practices into place controls the activities of the business to meet industry standards, reduce risks and procure reliable results.
What’s the difference between Quality Management Systems and Business Management Systems?

Quality Management Systems are sector or discipline-specific and narrower in scope while Business Management Systems are more generic, broader, and exist at the organizational level.

Quality Management Systems are “micro systems” that aim to manage the activities and outputs of the company. The ISO Edge has extensive expertise in this.

Whereas Business Management Systems are designed to help the company manage overall at a higher level. When we discover this service is needed, we refer organizations to our affiliate company Business Pathfinders.

The one main similarity between Quality Management Systems and Business Management Systems is that both bring rigour to your operations.

Do I need to pursue ISO certifications?
Not necessarily, but it can help most businesses. All businesses – of any sort – can benefit from adopting ISO.
I’m an entrepreneur who opened a very popular café in our locale. Should I pursue ISO?
You don’t need ISO to operate your café but as a business, having ISO 9001 protocols will help you in your marketplace and potentially give you a competitive advantage.
My organization provides services. Are ISO standards applicable to us?
The standards are applicable to all types of organizations and to all services, across sectors. The language employed in the standard continues to be simplified and made more user-friendly, reducing the manufacturing bias with each revision. (Please note: the definition of the term ‘product’ within ISO 9000 includes hardware, services, software, and processed materials).
How long will it take to become Certified?
It can take anywhere between 6-18 months to design, build and implement a new management system. To determine how long it will take your organization to become certified or registered, the first step is to conduct a gap assessment. A gap assessment will tell you where your current practice meets the requirement of the International Standard and where it does not. With this knowledge, you can begin defining the steps necessary to developing your management system. Only once you know what is required can you begin to define the resources and timing.Many factors impact timing and can include how many people work on the project, how knowledgeable and/or experienced they are, and how large and complex your organization is.

Most Certification Bodies want you to have your management system implemented and running for a minimum of three months prior to the initial certification audit. It takes at least three months to develop adequate proof of performance and effectiveness typically, in the form of records, information and data.

How much does it cost to become Certified?
This is the most common question and the hardest to answer. How much it costs depends on a lot of factors such as: project deadline; results of the gap assessment; internal resource availability (leadership, dedicated Project Management personnel, documentation development, implementation support, internal auditors etc.) and their level of knowledge and experience; external resources (consulting and training support); software (utilizing existing information systems and/or purchasing software programs for management system administration and oversight) and certification fees.
Where can I find a competent speaker to make a presentation on ISO and other related standards?
The ISO Edge provides some of the most knowledgeable, experienced, and dynamic coaches and facilitators in the realm of management system implementation, performance enhancement and business excellence. Our experts provide insightful, entertaining keynote and other presentations that will exceed the expectations of the most discerning audiences.
There seem to be a lot of numbers. What is ISO 9000?
ISO 9000 was published in 1987 for the first time by the International Organization for Standardization, but there’d been many years of work in the realm of standards before that. Together, industries adopted ISO 9000 which is described as a “family” of quality management systems. ISO 9000 deals with the fundamental concepts, principles, and vocabulary for QMS, including the seven quality management principles that underlie the family of standards. It’s the accepted “dictionary” for all management system standards.

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