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Simple Plan for ISO 9000 Certification

by Ron Kurtus (revised 29 November 2005)

In order to become certified for one of the ISO 9000 standards, you must perform a number of activities or steps, regardless of the type or size of your company. Top management must provide the leadership and commitment necessary to achieve the task of certification or compliance.

Questions you may have include:

The lesson answer those questions.



Steps to follow

The following list consists of simple steps to follow in order to achieve ISO 9000 registration or to simply become compliant to the standards. These steps are based on the method used by the Allen-Bradley Corp. (now part of Rockwell International) to achieve ISO 9001 certification.

(Note: Also see Steps to Achieve ISO 9000 Registration for another outlook on the process.)

1. Obtain management commitment

The key to success is management's belief in the value of registration to ISO 9000 standards and its resolve to devote the time and resources necessary to achieve it.

2. Designate a steering committee

Designate employees who will have the responsibility and authority to develop a detailed plan of action and who will manage it to completion.

3. Train personnel

A core group of employees must be well trained in the auditing techniques appropriate for the selected ISO 9000 standard.

4. Select an accredited registrar

Registration is obtained only through third-party assessments done by organizations accredited as qualified to evaluate a company's quality system.

5. Schedule final audit date

Because the final audit will be very comprehensive, adequate time should be allowed for full preparation.

6. Educate entire staff

Conduct awareness sessions with all personnel to explain ISO 9000, what it is, why it's important to the company, how it will affect each person's work, and what the benefits will be.

7. Analyze current situation

Document existing policies and procedures, compare them with ISO 9000 requirements, and identify all deviations and deficiencies.

8. Create a quality plan

Determine and implement all measures necessary to eliminate differences between current procedures and ISO 9000 compliance requirements.

9. Simulate an ISO 9000 audit

Check effectiveness of new procedures by having staff members conduct a formal audit according to ISO 9000 guidelines.

10. Correct problems

Implement adjustments needed to eliminate any deficiencies revealed by the audit.

11. Have registrar pre-audit (optional)

A preliminary audit determines readiness for the final audit and can help clarify specific requirements.

12. Correct problems

Implement adjustments needed to eliminate any deficiencies revealed by the pre-audit.

13. Have registrar conduct final audit

Third-party auditors conduct an on-site assessment of your quality system.

Summary

By following these steps, your road to ISO 9000 registration should be made easier:

  1. Obtain management commitment
  2. Designate a steering committee
  3. Train personnel
  4. Select an accredited registrar
  5. Schedule final audit date
  6. Educate entire staff
  7. Analyze current situation
  8. Create a quality plan
  9. Simulate an ISO 9000 audit
  10. Correct problems
  11. Have registrar pre-audit (optional)
  12. Correct problems
  13. Have registrar conduct final audit

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Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials

Websites

ISO Online - International Organization for Standardization website

ISO Standards Translated in Plain English - Extensive listing

ISO 9000 Certification Information - Good listing of ISO 9000 resources

ISO 9000 References and Resources

Books

Top-rated books on ISO 9000


Questions and comments

Do you have any questions, comments, or opinions on this subject? If so, send an email with your feedback. I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.


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