ISO 9001, the global standard for quality management, has been around for years.
More than one million organisations in over 170 countries comply with ISO 9001. But surprisingly, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about quality compliance.
We’re here to set the record straight by tackling some of the most common myths and sharing the truth behind them.
ISO 9001 certification myths
1. Quality compliance is only needed by big businesses
ISO standards aren’t just for big businesses or for those needing multiple certifications for a tender or client contract.
ISO 9001 quality management systems can be practical and beneficial for any company, no matter its size or industry. It’s all about improving quality and overall good business management.
Whether you’re a small start-up or a well-established company, done well, an ISO quality management system can make a real difference in how you operate and deliver value to your customers. It’s a versatile tool that can help any business distinguish themselves in today’s competitive world.
2. There will be lots of paperwork
The latest version of ISO 9001 keeps things simple when it comes to documentation. You only need three main things: your Quality Management System (QMS) scope, quality policy, and quality objectives.
When it’s designed in a lean and practical way, maintaining your quality management system can just involve little tweaks to how you’re already doing business with minimal extra paperwork.
In addition, with cloud-based systems, you can eliminate almost all documentation. Setting up your systems in the cloud makes it easy to manage records, access information, and keep everything up to date in real time.
3. You will need a full-time manager
If you’re considering implementing a quality management system on your own, be prepared to dedicate around half a day a week for six to 12 months to develop the system. If you work with a consultant, the time commitment is significantly reduced to about half a day per week for the first two to three months.
Once your system is implemented, someone will need to dedicate up to half a day per week to maintain the system. But rest assured, while there is some time involvement needed to maintain compliance, it doesn’t demand a full-time person.
The key lies in how well you design your system and reduce unnecessary documentation, which will ultimately save you time. With a well-structured approach and streamlined documentation, you can make ISO 9001 implementation much more manageable and efficient.
4. Certification is a bureaucratic exercise
ISO 9001 certification goes beyond being a mere bureaucratic exercise; it holds tangible benefits for your business.
By complying with this standard, you can significantly improve your approach to quality management, which leads to better services and higher-quality products. Implementing the necessary systems enables continuous improvement and advancement.
Moreover, certification ensures that staff have a clear understanding of their roles, fostering efficiency and productivity.
Embracing certification means creating a framework that empowers your organisation to deliver excellence and adapt to ever-changing market demands, contributing to long-term success and customer satisfaction.
5. ISO 9001 says we have to do it this way
The ISO 9001 requirements guide businesses towards achieving improved quality management. ISO 9001 doesn’t tell you exactly how to carry out the processes; instead, it outlines the key aspects that need to be considered.
This means that each business has the flexibility to decide how to handle its specific risks and priorities. There’s a lot of room for interpretation, allowing companies to take a practical and common-sense approach that suits their unique circumstances.
By providing this flexibility, ISO 9001 enables organisations to tailor their quality management system to best fit their needs and ensure continuous improvement.
6. ISO 9001 only impacts the quality department
There’s a common misconception that ISO 9001 is only relevant to the quality department of a company and that it’s solely the responsibility of the people working in that specific area. However, ISO 9001 is more than just a quality control system; it’s a “management” system that pertains to how the entire business is managed from the top down.
The requirements of ISO 9001 extend to every aspect of the business, making them relevant to employees at all levels and across all departments. It’s not limited to a single team; rather, it involves everyone working together to ensure the highest standards are met across the board.
7. Quality compliance is expensive to maintain
While there are costs associated with maintaining quality compliance, such as periodic audits of your systems, the benefits far outweigh these expenses when the system has been implemented effectively.
Winning those sought after contracts will more than pay for the investment required to build the system, Not only that, a well-designed system can significantly reduce maintenance costs over time by saving you time.
The goal is to integrate ISO 9001 seamlessly into “the way you do business” so that there’s minimal need for additional “busywork”. When your system operates smoothly and becomes an intrinsic part of your processes, the investment in compliance becomes an investment in efficiency and overall success.
Contact us about ISO 9001 certification
If you’re ready to take the first steps towards becoming ISO 9001 certified, get in touch with our team. We’re experts in compliance and can help you reach your certification goals quickly and effectively in a way which minimises documentation and the burden of ongoing maintenance.