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Standards in Action: An Overview of the ISO Certification Process

Posted September 10, 2017 12:00 AM by ahorner_22
Pathfinder Tags: iso certification radwell

ISO Certification is a process that enhances business offerings. By showcasing how an organization meets certain standards, they announce to the world the highest level of quality, safety, and efficiency in their operations.

At Radwell International, Tom Foy, Corporate Training/ISO Manager has worked with all levels to facilitate the process of gaining ISO certifications. We spoke with Tom to discuss the process.

What is involved in achieving an ISO certification for a business?

The first phase is to build documentation to support your certification.

The next phase is to train all levels of managers and ensure they have everything they need to supply materials to their teams.

The final piece is to conduct audits. An internal audit is completed by a team based on the standards. The next audit is conducted by an outside company. Between audits, things get adjusted as needed.

How does an ISO certification affect employees?

It heightens the awareness of customer focus. It gives employees a feeling of empowerment.

How long does the certification process usually take for a business?

For a first certification, it usually takes nine months. For subsequent certifications, the process usually takes an average of six months.

What are the differences between the certifications (2008 v. 2015)?

2008: Required a quality manual as well as six separate necessary documents.

2015: Required some changed language, quality manual became optional, and it has 23 required documentations

Who is responsible for implementing ISO standards?

The ISO team and all management are responsible.

How does Radwell International's certification impact the customer experience?

To us, the certification is all about customer focus and quality. When we receive an ISO certification, there are benefits for our organization and our customers. It opens the door for a company to be exposed to new partners and new customers.


Editor's note: This is a sponsored blog post from Radwell International.

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Re: Standards in Action: An Overview of the ISO Certification Process

09/11/2017 4:55 AM

6 MONTHS!!!

NO WAY!

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Re: Standards in Action: An Overview of the ISO Certification Process

09/11/2017 11:30 AM

I certified as lead auditor and performed several audits under 10CFR15, AppB (Nuclear). I certified as lead auditor under ISO9000. I have also gone through several audits on the customer side of ISO9000.

The scope and quality of the ISO certification and audits that I have observed indicates to me that ISO is nice, but not particularly effective.

The main reason is that the 10CFR50, App B audits were performance based, that is they check for presence of procedures and methods, but they also confirm use of those methods and procedures for work in process down to witnessing work performance and witnessing inspections and tests. The ISO audits I have observed and participated in were compliance based. Specifically, the audit confirmed that processes, procedures and work instructions were available and checking if a worker was aware of the procedures, but not if the worker actually followed or used the procedures.

Companies have gone to ISO certification as a countermeasure to EU using ISO compliance as a trade barrier. It also allows other ISO companies to purchase product without having to do any of that messy QA inspection, test and audit that gets in the way of production.

6 months to put an ISO QA system in place is possible, if the company is already using product documentation, work instructions, routers, etc. or if the company wants to plop in a whip-n-chill system from a third party and then hammer in the bare minimum to make it through an audit. I would consider such a system to be nicely cosmetic, but wouldn't want to rely on the system to actually do much of anything other than showcase to the world how the company gives lipservice to the highest levels of quality, safety and efficiency.

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