by Frederike Berg
ISO 9001 certification in scaffolding- advantages and certification process at a glance
They often hang framed in the entrance area of a company building or are at least mentioned on the company website: the ISO certifications that a company has received rarely go unmentioned.
We at Scafom-rux have also recently received our ISO 9001 recertification. But wait: what does it actually mean when a company is ISO certified? Read more about the benefits of ISO certification here.
What is an ISO certificate?
For you as a customer, certifications per se are a good first sign that you are dealing with a quality-oriented company. The ISO 9001 certificate in particular tells you whether a company's quality management complies with the ISO 9001 standard of the International Standards Organisation. These are internationally recognised and are intended to guarantee quality-oriented processes in daily work.
But what does that mean exactly? To implement quality-oriented processes, a company needs a quality management system. The ISO certificate is issued when this quality management system complies with the ISO 9001:2015 standard. Among other things, it must fulfil the following criteria:
- Uniformly defined structures within a company, in which clear roles, responsibilities and authorities are assigned
- Processes that are optimised to meet the requirements of the customer
- Continuous controls and further development of the processes
If the quality management of a company implements these points, potentials as well as weak points can be recognised more quickly. And in the end, this also affects the quality of the service provided to you as a customer.
What are the advantages of the ISO certificate for customers and companies?
On the one hand, an ISO certificate quickly tells you as a customer that a provider is quality-oriented and can thus offer you real added value. But even if you run a company yourself, a quality management system structured according to ISO 9001:2015 with the corresponding certification has considerable advantages
In short, ISO certification has the following advantages for your company:
- Processes are optimised which makes the exchange of goods and services much easier - also on an international level.
- The quality of the product or service is increased through well-designed work processes.
- Costs can be reduced and profits increased
- Customer satisfaction increases, as clearly defined processes ensure faster processing of enquiries, requests or complaints.
- The implementation of ISO 9001:2015 in quality management ensures more transparency and reliability and is thus a decisive factor in winning new customers.
Overall, ISO certification contributes to an increase in the competitiveness of your company. You can find out more about the implementation of ISO 9001:2015 in your company's QMS by clicking on the link.
What is the process for ISO certification?
But how does your company get its ISO certificate after implementing a quality management according to ISO 9001:2015? First of all, you need to hire a certification body to audit your company for the implementation of ISO 9001:2015. When choosing a certification body, make sure that you choose an accredited one in order to guarantee a high-quality standard. Comparing the prices and services of several certification bodies can also pay off. You can read more about advice and preparation for ISO certification by clicking on the link.
Once you have decided on a certification body, it will commission one or more auditors to carry out the certification audits in your company. The certification process is divided into several phases:
Phase 1: Carrying out the certification audits
The certification process consists of the certification audit stage I and stage II. Optionally, a pre-audit can be carried out beforehand to identify strengths and potential for improvement of the quality management system.
Certification audit stage 1
A general analysis of the documentation of the quality management system (e.g. in the form of a QM manual) is carried out to determine whether all requirements of the ISO 9001 standard are fulfilled. If this is not the case, these deviations from the standard must be rectified before the stage 2 audit.
Certification audit stage 2
The second stage of the certification audit consists of an assessment of the implementation and effectiveness of all QMS processes according to the ISO 9001:2015 standard. For this purpose, the auditor(s) will visit your company on site, talk to employees and managers, and review the documentation and records.
Once both audits are completed, the results are presented in a final meeting and, if necessary, action plans are agreed upon. If there are still deviations from the standard, 30 days are usually given to rectify them.
Phase 3: The ISO 9001:2015 certificate is issued
The results of the certification audit are evaluated by the independent certification body. If all standard requirements are met, the ISO 9001 certificate is issued.
Phase 4: Surveillance audits and recertification
A surveillance audit is conducted once a year. This determines whether the requirements for ISO certification continue to be met. After three years, a more extensive recertification audit takes place, similar to the audit for the first certification.
ISO 9001:2015 makes international cooperation easier
Once the certification process has been completed, an ISO-certified company can also look forward to many advantages at the international level. This is because the uniform ISO standard ensures that, for example, the same standard is represented in the exchange of goods and services between two ISO-certified companies. This prevents that differing processes make the international exchange of goods and services complicated. This worldwide comparability promotes cooperation, signals transparency and ultimately opens up new markets.
If you want to learn more about certification in scaffolding, you can read our blog article on the subject here.
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