Two years ago we achieved ISO 9001:2015 certification – recognition that our Quality Management System meets internationally recognised standards.
We put a lot of hard work into building a QMS that would allow us to deliver the best service to our clients, and it was great to see that pay off when we were awarded our certificate. And it’s no coincidence that once our robust QMS was in place, our bid rate went from an already impressive 80% to an amazing 90%!
We’ve continued to build on that work since, and last month we celebrated passing our audit with flying colours for the third time.
We thought we’d share a few of the things we’ve learned along the way – if you’re considering going for ISO 9001 certification, this is what our journey so far has taught us:
- Being certified provides solid reassurance for prospective clients that you’re committed to quality and you practice what you preach – your clients will know they’re in good hands
- You don’t realise quite how much goes on in your business until you’re detailing every aspect step-by-step! But once it’s all set up and running smoothly, you’ll be really glad you put the effort in
- Training new staff is much easier when you’ve got detailed processes to use as training aids and for them to refer back to later
- When planning out your internal audit schedule, spread tasks out across the year so you can make sure you’re reviewing everything on a regular basis without giving yourself too much to do in the immediate run-up to your audit
- Audit day can feel stressful, but if you’ve followed your processes and stored the right information in the right places throughout the year, you’ll find it easy to produce what the auditor is looking for
- It isn’t just about the audit – it’s a continuous process of making sure you’re working to the systems and processes you’ve developed, and always looking for ways to improve them. Look for tools that can help you increase quality and / or efficiency and you’ll reap the rewards every day.
Achieving ISO 9001 certification can seem like a lot of hard work when you’re first starting out on the journey, but once you’ve got that certificate hanging on your wall and you can see the difference it makes to your business, you’ll never look back!
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