Our certification process is SIMPLE & PAINLESS. We have taken out all the complications to help you move forward with the assessment and certification of your organisation’s management system.
Below is a simple representation of the process, for more details look under.
If you require any help at all with understanding the process please feel free to contact one of our friendly assessment staff.
This is the section of our website that delves into the real nitty gritty of the certification process. We explain how to go about achieving certification, what to expect whilst being audited and give you lots of tips and links to help you gather all the information you need. If you already have certification but aren’t happy with the service you receive or the costs involved, we’ll illustrate just how easy it is to transfer to us.
How to achieve ISO certification
If you already know how to go about getting certification, that’s great. If you don’t and need someone to run through it with you, then please give us a call on +92 55 4555545.
It can be best to discuss your own situation, but in simple terms this is what you’ll need to do:
- Decide which ISO standard(s) you want to achieve certification for.
- Find out what they involve you doing (called the ‘requirements’).
- Establish a system for adhering to the requirements (called a management system).
- Invite an ISO certification body to audit/assess your work (of course we hope you will choose us – PGCS).
- Receive a certificate if the audit is successful (or after you have corrected any ‘non conformances’ found during the audit).
- Use your certificate to help you get new business or make you more successful with tenders.
We are here to help
If that all sounds a bit daunting, then you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of people out there that can help you – we can help to find you a local consultant.
But you need to ensure you know what you are getting for your money.
We are ready to help you, just give us a call on +92 55 4555545, or read this more detailed explanation of how to achieve ISO certification.
The audit process explained…Once you’ve all your systems and procedures in place and are ready for an audit, what do you need to do next and what happens?
In essence, there’s normally an initial two-stage audit. If these are successful you’re awarded the certification (which’ll be valid for 3 years). To maintain your certification we’ll need to visit you regularly (normally once a year). These visits are often referred to as surveillance visits. Like the initial audit, dates are always agreed and planned – there’re no surprise visits.
More information about the audits
The initial audit is in two stages:
Stage 1 aims to establish that you understand the requirements of the standard, and that you’ve got systems and procedures in place to comply with it. We’ll review any relevant documentation that you’ve produced.
We’ll leave you with a report and an audit schedule for stage 2. The report will identify any actions you’re advised to take before the next stage. Stage 1 is an important part of the process as it ensures you’re properly ready for the more detailed stage 2. It also gets you used to being audited and provides an opportunity to get to know your auditor.
Stage 2 gathers objective evidence to ascertain if you’re complying with the standard. We’ll interview your staff, look at records, review internal audits that you’ve completed, and may visit other sites if integral to the service you provide.
If we encounter problems
If we discover that you’re not adequately complying with any requirements we’ll discuss these with you. Depending on the severity, any issues may be resolved on the day or you may have to correct them before you’re recommended for certification. At the end of stage 2 you’ll know if you’ve successfully been recommended for certification or what actions you need to take before a certificate is issued.
The surveillance visits essentially enable us to check that you’re continuing to operate and work to your management system. You’ll be expected to correct any non compliances, but these rarely effect the continuance of your certification.
Transfer your certification
If you’re unhappy with your existing certification body, you can simply transfer your registration to PGCS. Perhaps you’ve become dissatisfied with the service or fees, or feel that you aren’t benefiting from the audits you receive? Contact us to find out how the whole experience can be improved.
Once your certification is transferred to us, we’ll carry out future surveillance visits instead of your current certification body. There’ll be a charge for this, but our fees are highly competitive. For a precise quotation, please contact us or provide us with a few details about your organisation on this quotation request form. We won’t contact your current certification body.
Even with a quotation from us, there’s no obligation to move your certification. But if you do, we’ll make the transfer process as effortless and painless as possible. Our auditor will be realistic, supportive and have practical knowledge of your industry sector. And of course he or she will be approachable! What have you got to lose?
If you’re new to the world of certification, you may be confused about the various terms used. Let’s take ISO 9001 as an example.
ISO 9001 is an international standard for quality. It lists requirements (what you need to do). If you choose to follow the requirements you’ll need some sort of system to check that you do (called a management system). By following the requirements you should provide a quality product or service. Sometimes, customers will insist you that you demonstrate you’ve got an effective management system. The best way to demonstrate this is to have your system externally audited by a third party. PGCS would be pleased to provide you with a free quotation for that.
Following a successful audit you’ll then be awarded an ISO 9001 certificate and can proudly claim ISO 9001 registration or ISO 9001 certification. Frequently, organisations say they have got ISO 9001 accreditation, but it’s actually the certification body that audits them which holds the accreditation. So to be precise, they should claim they have got accredited certification to ISO 9001.
If you’re new to certification, registration or accreditation, it can be difficult to work out which websites are genuine and how everything fits together. Here are a few sites that you may like to be aware of. Some of them are vast and we’re not suggesting you plough through them, but they may help answer specific questions you may have. We also have provided a brief explanation of some of the terminologies used here.
ISO is the International Organization for Standardization. It develops and publishes International Standards. Including of course the international standards that we offer. www.iso.org. They are currently developing ISO 45001 to replace OHSAS 18001. www.iso.org/iso/iso45001.
ISO also publishes some useful guides to help you understand, choose and make sense of management and leadership standards. Lots of them are free. http://www.iso.org/iso/home/store/management_standards_publications.htm
As they’re Copyright, you’ll need to buy or have access to any Standards that you want certification for. But if you just want a quick look to see what they contain and what’s expected of you, this site has a large library of information. www.praxiom.com
Revisions to Standards
You may be aware that all international standards are revised every few years to keep up-to-date with the times. ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 were both updated in September.
Below you’ll find how this’ll affect you if you’re registered with PGCS.
When you’re ready to transition to the new standards please contact us. We’ll then send you a questionnaire to ascertain that you’ve understood the changes and establish the most appropriate way to audit the changes you’ve made. This may just be as part of your surveillance visit, at no extra cost. Larger companies however, may require additional auditing time, for which there’ll be an additional fee. You’ll be advised if additional auditing is required.
The changes are fairly substantial and you’ll find much written about them on many websites. In short, these are the headline points:
- A new high-level clause structure (Annexe SL) is being introduced across these and all management system standards
- New clauses relating to understanding the context of the organisation
- Expanded requirements for quality objectives
- Management responsibility has been expanded to include Leadership
- The requirement for a Management Representative has been removed
- More detailed requirements for the process approach to quality management
- No specific Preventive Action clause
- Requirement to consider risk and opportunities
- Reduced requirement for documentation
- Extent of control of externally purchased products and services
- Inclusion of Care of property belonging to others
- Expanded requirements for monitoring, measurement, analysis and evaluation
- Criteria for excluding clauses
The previous versions of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 will cease to be recognised on 14th September 2018. Consequently, all certificates to the old standards will expire before or on that day. Customers are encouraged not to leave upgrading to the new standards to the last minute as it may lead to additional expense (in addition to those noted above) if we’re unable to audit the changes as part of our routine surveillance programme.
If you need any guidance with the revised requirements please contact us. We can discuss the changes with you and point you in the right direction if you require more comprehensive support.