While there are numerous ISO standards, businesses most commonly become compliant with ISO 9001, the standard for quality management. More than one million companies in over 170 countries have achieved compliance with this standard.
Whether you’re interested in becoming ISO 9001 certified or want to improve your compliance with another standard or set of standards, knowing where to start can be difficult – but it doesn’t have to be.
In the following article, we’ll be discussing some of the first steps you can take towards reaching your ISO accreditation goals.
1. Conduct an ISO Gap Analysis
An ISO gap analysis examines how aligned an organisation’s existing systems are with a given standard’s requirements. After collating all relevant information, the auditor reviews and analyses the key findings. Based on these, they identify gaps in existing processes and pinpoint specific areas to work on.
They then look at what needs to be done to address these gaps and develop a strategic, systematic and realistic plan-of-action. This will guide team members in the weeks and months ahead, while also giving management a set of measurable compliance goals to track progress.
If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact our team and ask about our unique ISO gap analysis process. We can provide your business with guidance every step of the way, as well as the following core deliverables:
- A gap assessment matrix detailing your business’ compliance with each clause of the relevant standard/s;
- A summary report that collates key findings and gives you a clear idea of where your existing systems are at in terms of compliance;
- The knowledge and understanding needed to devise a practical, effective plan for addressing any discrepancies;
- A project plan detailing step by step what actions need to be taken to address the gaps.
- A fixed cost quote that’s based on your business’ specific needs, budget and preferences.
2. Get Prepared
For those looking to achieve improved compliance, setting a strong foundation by clearly defining and planning for the certification process is imperative. This helps organisations create unified teams, where individuals have a shared sense of direction and actively and purposefully work towards the common goal of ISO certification.
In doing this, organisations will typically start by preparing documentation that details goals, required procedures for achieving compliance and deadlines. In short, you need to establish what you want to achieve and your timeline for doing so.
Following this, you’ll need to determine which approach is best suited to your business’ circumstances, budget and the like. There are numerous routes organisations can take, including template systems, in-house implementation and outsourcing assistance from an ISO consultant. At Integrated Compliance Solutions, we offer the latter, with our team of Australia-wide consultants providing expert advice and guidance to businesses across the country.
Now you’re just about ready to get started, but first, it’s important to make sure you’re providing staff across all organisational levels with sufficient training. Beyond this, both management and employees need to be aware of their role in the certification process, as well as any ways their work may be impacted and overall expectations, which need to be clear and well understood.
3. Start Developing Your Management Systems
Once you’ve determined your business’ plan of attack, it’s time to take action and start developing your management systems. This involves implementing changes throughout your organisation in a strategic and systematic way, while also regularly reviewing and refining your approach, ensuring it’s effective and flexible – rather than rigid.
When doing this, you’ll likely notice different opportunities to improve processes and, respectively, get one step closer to achieving your ISO certification goals. For instance, along the way, you may need to:
- Provide employees with additional training;
- Conduct audits to monitor performance and progress towards compliance objectives;
- Adjust your initial strategy to manage emerging challenges in an ever-changing business environment.
To take the first steps towards improving your compliance with ISO standards, whether you need to conduct an ISO gap analysis, want to start developing your management systems or the like, our team can help you reach your certification goals.
Ready to Take Action?
Get in touch with our team of ISO consultants and get your business well on the way to achieving your ISO certification goals these coming months.
Whether you’re looking to get certified with ISO 9001, ISO 45001, ISO 14001 or another standard of your choosing, we can help. For years, we’ve assisted organisations across Australia in getting and staying compliant with various ISO standards.