It has long been recognized that purchasing across national (and even continental) boundaries can cause difficulties: delivery, cash-flow, specification, manufacturing, installation, and most importantly, quality. It is also a fact that purchasing another company's product to use or incorporate into your product can cause difficulties even if that seller is next door. Various means have been devised to counter these problems: extensive incoming inspection, second party audits, just-in-case purchasing to provide a buffer, unrealistic schedules and extended lead times. However, these measures do not address the cause of the problem.
Properly implemented, ISO 9001 can provide great benefits for your company because it was designed to address the causes of systems that are out of control. A proactive risk-based approach to management, ongoing review of established management objectives, including process reviews and process verification, a customer-centric focus including diligent responsiveness to issues, and supply-chain management are some of the methods used to successfully implement a robust quality program.
The registration process entails a number of review steps to verify that these methods called for by the ISO 9001:2015 standard are implemented and to ensure your Quality Management System is ready for initial certification, as well as verification of ongoing efforts to identify and implement improvements.
The review steps include an initial (Stage 1) review to verify quality management system (QMS) readiness, a complete system review (Stage 2) to determine compliance with the ISO 9001 standard. Once certification has been achieved, scheduled surveillance audits are performed to verify ongoing system maintenance. The ISO 9001 certificate is valid for three years, so at the end of that cycle and prior to expiration, another complete system reassessment will be performed to confirm conformity and a new certificate will be issued.
Optionally, companies that are currently certified with another registrar, have the option to transfer their registration at any time during the certification cycle.