Today most companies from start-ups to small businesses, medium scale enterprises to large organisations are ISO 9001 certified. All of us know ISO stands for International Organisation for Standardisation. But what does this mean? It means that a company's products and services follow a set of operating procedures. Process standards include quality, safety, and efficiency.
Odisha became the first Indian state to receive ISO certification for hostels for tribal students in June, 2020. After efforts by the State SC & ST Welfare Department, this has been achieved. Earlier, Mission Suvidya was launched to provide uniform standards for infrastructure and amenities in tribal hostels across the state.
Bhadrakali temple, one of Telangana’s most famous pilgrim centres, received ISO 9001:2015 certification on September 20, 2020. A number of factors were considered in awarding the temple certification, including cleanliness, hygiene, security, management, and more. After Yadadri temple, it is the second temple in the state to receive ISO certification.
For instance, let’s consider a soap manufacturer –
- The set standard of quality will ensure the usage of the right amount of quality raw materials. The size of the bar and the look, feel, and smell are uniform.
- The entire process of manufacturing and the factory have set standards of safety. Therefore, correct precautions are taken to avoid any accidents and damages.
- The organisation takes care of productivity. In an hour maximum output can be 100 soap bars – so this becomes the standard of efficiency. Hence productivity.
However, the standards set need to be followed and maintained throughout. This ensures the quality of products and services rendered by the company and its employees are excellent.
Why maintain the standards laid down by ISO certification?
- Authorities and Government officials accept the ISO Certification to be an international certification. Moreover, this gives credibility to your company in other countries
- ISO certification brings in the reliability of the business; hence it is easy for marketing products or services
- Government tenders are allotted majorly to companies with ISO certification
- The accreditation brings in functional efficiency across departments and organisations
- Zero wastage of raw materials and working hours
- Quality of products and services ensured
- All this brings in customer satisfaction, and indeed, the company enjoys goodwill and reputation in the market
What are the prerequisites to ISO Certification in India?
Choose the relevant ISO Certification type
First and foremost, you should choose the ISO certification standard relevant for your business.
- Choose a credible ISO Certification Body
Please note that ISO does not issue certificates to the applicants itself. The task of assigning ISO Certificates to the applicants is performed by external bodies. It is extremely important for you to do your research and choose a credible and recognized certification body to obtain the certification from.
Please consider the following-
- Evaluate the past records of different ISO Certification agencies.
- Check if they follow the CASCO standards. This is a committee set up by the ISO to oversee issues linked to conformity assessment.
- Check whether they meet the criteria of ISO Accreditation agencies.
Nature of business for ISO certification:
There are different types of certification depending upon the nature of business. Few examples:
- Quality management – ISO 9001:2008 is applicable
- Food Safety management – ISO 22000:2005 is applicable
- Fire Safety Engineering – ISO 16732-1:2012 is applicable
Therefore, each type of certification defines the standards applicable as per the nature of business.
Objective of ISO Certification
- Enhanced Standardisation: ISO certification aims to promote and enhance the standardisation of processes, products, and services within an organisation’s technology sector
- Quality Improvement: It serves as a catalyst for improving the quality of technology-related processes, ensuring they meet internationally recognized standards
- Global Recognition: ISO certification is globally recognised, providing organisations with credibility and facilitating international business transactions
- Efficiency and Consistency: ISO standards help organisations streamline operations, leading to increased efficiency and consistency in technology-related activities
- Risk Mitigation: By adhering to ISO standards, organisations reduce the risk of technology-related failures, errors, and security breaches
- Customer Confidence: ISO certification instil confidence in customers, assuring them of the organisation’s commitment to delivering high-quality technology products and services
- Competitive Advantage: It can confer a competitive edge, as ISO-certified organisations are often preferred by clients and partners over non-certified counterparts
- Continuous Improvement: ISO certification encourages a culture of continuous improvement, where technology processes are regularly evaluated and enhanced
- Regulatory Compliance: It aids in meeting regulatory requirements and demonstrating compliance with industry standards
- Resource Optimisation: ISO standards promote the efficient use of resources in technology development and deployment.
Advantages of ISO Certification
- Enhanced International Reputation: ISO Certification plays a crucial role in bolstering an organisation’s international reputation and credibility in overseas business dealings
- Enhanced Customer Contentment: ISO standards are designed to enable organisations to better serve their customers, leading to increased customer satisfaction
- Access to Government Contracts: ISO Certification is a fundamental requirement for participating in government tenders and securing public contracts
- Operational Efficiency: Organisations can improve their operational efficiency through ISO Certification. It assists in the development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and work instructions, which, when implemented, enhance resource management within the organisation
- Elevated Product Quality: ISO Certification ensures that product quality aligns with international standards, reducing the risk of rejected product orders due to subpar quality
- Boosted Market Presence: ISO Certification enhances business credibility, directly benefiting marketing efforts and marketability.
Selecting the Type of ISO Certification
To begin, the entrepreneur must first determine the specific ISO certification needed for the business. There is a range of ISO certification types to choose from, including those listed below:
- ISO 9001:2008- Quality Management System
- OHSAS 18001 – Occupational Health & Safety Management System
- ISO 37001 – Anti-bribery management systems
- ISO 31000 – Risk Management
- ISO 27001 – Information Security Management System
- ISO 10002 – Compliant Management System
- ISO 14001:2015 – Environment Management System
- ISO 26000 – Social Responsibility
- ISO 28000 – Security Management
- ISO 22008 – Food Safety Management
- SA 8000 – Social accountability
- EnMS EN 16001 ISO 50001 – Energy Management
- SO/IEC 17025 – Testing and calibration laboratories
- SO 13485 – Medical devices
- ISO 639 – Language codes
- ISO 4217 – Currency codes
- ISO 3166 – Country codes
- ISO 8601 – Date and time format
- ISO 20121 – Sustainable events
- SO/IEC 27001 – Information security management
Time Involved in the ISO Certification Process
The duration for completing the entire ISO certification process can vary from one organisation to another. An ISO certification agency can provide a rough estimate after evaluating the company’s size. Typically, the time needed to finalise the ISO certification process is approximately:
- Small organisations: 6-8 months
- Medium organisations: 8-12 months
- Large organisation: 12-15 months
Who issues this ISO certification?
An accredited registrar issues the ISO certification which is the Certification Body (CB). Each CB issues various types of certification. Moreover, it is advisable to choose credible and known CB. Therefore, the list of few CB in India:
- CDG Certification Ltd
- De System Inc.
- SMC India
- Company profile
- Company letterhead
- Copy of Sales & Purchase bill
- Address Proof
- Pan card
- Visiting card
Certification process in India
- Enter into a contract with the registrar for certification. This contract sets the responsibility and commitment of both parties.
- ISO -appointed auditor checks the company’s documents. He also reviews the company’s policy and procedure.
- An auditor sets the standardisation to bring in maximum business efficiency and output.
- The auditor conducts an internal audit to see if the necessary standards have been implemented. However, on completion of the audit, a satisfactory and compliance report is submitted to the registrar.
- ISO certification is issued based on the audit report.
- Periodic surveillance audit is conducted to ensure the ISO standards have been maintained.
- The certificate has a validity of 3 years.
Cost of certification
The cost of accreditation varies from organisation to organisation. Therefore, it is based on many factors like:
- The nature of business and type of certification applied for
- The certification body chose
- The size of the organisation, employee count and the number of processes involved
- The risk level associated with the processes
Can I apply online?
Welcome to Vakilsearch. You can apply for ISO 9001 Certification with Vakilsearch in 3 simple steps:
- Consultation – Our experts will help you get all the right information about an ISO Certification
- Application – From helping you fill up applications to putting together documents, we will help you with the entire application process.
- Drafting Policy Standards – We will help you put together quality, comprehensive policy standards so that you have no issues when it comes to applying for an ISO Certification.
For micro-businesses and small companies, navigating the complexities of ISO certification can be challenging. That’s where Vakilsearch steps in to simplify the process. With our online certification services, we cater to businesses with streamlined processes and basic operational functions, making ISO certification more accessible and hassle-free.
Vakilsearch is your trusted partner on the journey to ISO certification. Our dedicated team of experts specialises in simplifying the ISO certification process for businesses of all sizes. We offer comprehensive support, handling the application process and audit procedures with precision and efficiency. With Vakilsearch by your side, you’ll experience a seamless and cost-effective path to ISO certification, ensuring your business meets international standards.
Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is ISO certification in India and why is it important?
ISO certification is a voluntary process by which a business or organisation can demonstrate that it meets the requirements of a particular ISO standard. ISO standards are international standards that cover a wide range of topics, including quality management, environmental management, and occupational health and safety management. ISO certification holds significance for businesses as it enables them to enhance product and service quality, lower operational expenses, elevate customer satisfaction, secure a competitive edge, draw in new customers and partnerships, and expand their presence into previously unexplored markets.
Where can I find reliable sources to obtain ISO certification in India online?
In India, there are several reputable online sources for obtaining ISO certification. Among the widely recognised certification bodies are the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), the Quality Council of India (QCI), TUV SUD, and Det Norske Veritas (DNV). Additionally, you can refer to the National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB) website for a comprehensive list of accredited certification bodies.
Who is responsible for issuing ISO certificates in India?
ISO certificates are issued by accredited certification bodies. Accreditation is a process by which an independent body assesses the competence of a certification body to certify organisations against ISO standards.
How many ISO standards are currently applicable in India, and what are they?
There are over 20,000 ISO standards that are currently applicable in India. Some of the most popular ISO standards include: ISO 9001: Quality management systems ISO 14001: Environmental management systems ISO 45001: Occupational health and safety management systems ISO 27001: Information security management systems ISO 50001: Energy management systems
Can you list the top 10 most popular ISO standards that businesses in India pursue?
The top 10 most popular ISO standards that businesses in India pursue are: ISO 9001 ISO 14001 ISO 45001 ISO 27001 ISO 50001 ISO 22301: Business continuity management systems ISO 13485: Medical devices quality management systems ISO/IEC 20000-1: Information technology service management systems ISO 37001: Anti-bribery management systems ISO/IEC 27002: Information security controls
What is the highest level of ISO certification one can achieve?
There is no highest level of ISO certification. ISO standards are designed to be implemented in a variety of ways, and the level of certification that a business achieves depends on its specific needs and goals.
Are there different types of ISO certifications, and if so, how can I distinguish between them?
Yes, there are different types of ISO certifications. ISO certifications can be distinguished by the ISO standard that they are based on. For example, an ISO 9001 certification is based on the ISO 9001 standard for quality management systems.
What does the abbreviation 'ISO' stand for, and what is its significance in India?
ISO stands for the International Organisation for Standardisation. ISO is a non-governmental international organisation with a membership of 167 national standards bodies. ISO develops and publishes international standards that cover a wide range of topics, including quality management, environmental management, and occupational health and safety management. ISO certification is significant in India because it can help businesses to improve their performance and competitiveness. ISO certification is also recognised by businesses and organisations around the world, which can open up new opportunities for Indian businesses.
Is ISO certification mandatory for businesses operating in India?
ISO certification is not mandatory for businesses operating in India. However, many businesses choose to become ISO certified in order to improve their performance and competitiveness. ISO certification can also be required by some customers or suppliers.
Do ISO certifications have an expiration date, and if so, how can they be renewed or updated?
Yes, ISO certifications have an expiration date. ISO certificates are typically valid for three years. After three years, the business or organisation must undergo a recertification audit in order to maintain its certification.