What is ISO9001?
ISO9001:2015 is an internationally recognised standard. It provides structure on which to build and maintain an effective way of doing business. The standard is strongly linked to customer needs and expectations. It ensures that your system is joined-up, it provides a platform for continuous improvement and is independently audited.
Why do we need to have ISO9001?
Your business may need to be ISO9001 certified if one of your customer’s policies is to only work with suppliers that have a recognised quality standard. It provides them with the reassurance that you are independently assessed and have traceable systems in place that will reduce the risk of error. Most companies are dependent on their suppliers’ performance and if you fail, they may fail too.
It is also a marketing advantage over your competitors who are not ISO9001 certified as it will guarantee a competitive edge in terms of the quality and consistency of your product or service. Having ISO9001 will show that you are a cut above the rest in a highly competitive market and help you to secure new customers.
From a financial perspective, an ISO9001 management system can help improve your bottom line. By ensuring consistency and quality, you reduce the likelihood of faulty goods or the cost of putting things right because of an error. By maintaining a consistent service or product, customers are more likely to stay with you and recommend you, which is far cheaper than finding new customers!
How do we achieve ISO9001?
Firstly, you need to ensure that you understand exactly what the standard requires and how to apply it sensibly to your business. This is where we can help you to avoid wasting time and money creating documentation that you don’t need. In fact, there are only six mandatory procedures, beyond which, you need to tailor your system to fit your business. With real skill, knowledge, and understanding, it is possible to produce concise and relevant procedures. Achieving ISO9001 certification need not be difficult or onerous if you do it properly.
How long will it take to become ISO9001 certified?
This depends on the size of your company but could be as little as six months, allowing three months to put the system in place and a further three months for it to bed in and fine tuning, which includes a full internal audit.
What’s the difference between ISO9000, ISO9001 and ISO9004?
People often refer to ISO9000 certification. In fact the only standard that is auditable is ISO9001:2015.
ISO9000 is the family of standards that support ISO9001, which includes ISO9004:2009.ISO9004 is an excellent standard for providing more detail about the requirements of the ISO9001 standard and different ways of interpreting them.
What are the differences between being certified, being registered and being accredited?
Firstly, being certified is the same as being registered, so a company is certified to ISO9001 or a registered ISO9001 company.
Being accredited, however, is what the certification bodies have to be, so you would be certified by a third-party accreditation body such as BSI, LRQA, NQA, BVQI, etc., Most certification bodies are accredited by UKAS (the independent United Kingdom Accredited Service). Accredited bodies have to meet very exacting standards and are recognised world-wide.
Where can I get a copy of the standard?
Click here to access the BSI site where you will be able to buy the standards.
For more information, have a look at our Fact Sheets
Health and Safety FAQs
What is Health and Safety?
Health and safety is the awareness and management of hazards in the workplace.
Why do I need to consider Health and Safety?
All companies or organisations have legal and moral responsibilities to varying degrees to manage health and safety and to ensure that they are not putting their staff, visitors, members of the public or neighbours at risk.
Why do we need a Health and Safety Management System?
You may not need a health and safety management system. For very small companies risk assessments and emergency procedures are all that are legally required. By putting in place a well-designed system, you will provide a safe environment for yourself, your staff, your customers, and your neighbouring environment. You will also be able to demonstrate this commitment in court should you need to.
You will have peace of mind that you are legally compliant and you will also have an improved chance of success with your tenders. You will achieve better communication from your staff and reduce the costs associated with ill-health and accidents.
How do we comply with Health and Safety requirements?
Firstly, you will need to implement an effective Health and Safety Management System. We can help you do this to ensure that you don’t waste time and money creating something that doesn’t work for your business.
If you are an employer, you are responsible for ensuring that risk assessments are undertaken by a competent person. We can help you with risk assessments or train your staff to assess risk.
You will also need to keep up to date with the law. We provide our clients with regular legal updates, newsletters and a knowledge bank on our website to help keep you up-to-date with the law.
Will you takeover our health and safety responsibilities?
No. You are ultimately responsible for the safety of your workplace. We step in and become a part of your team, working with you to ensure that you take the right steps to comply with the law and minimise your risks. We can also mentor your staff to assist them with taking the necessary health and safety actions.
What do we do if we are visited by the HSE?
If the HSE contact you about a health and safety issue, call us immediately so that we can assist you in preparing for the visit. If you have implemented a proper health and safety system, the visit shouldn’t be a cause for undue stress.
For more information, have a look at our Fact Sheets
Stepping Stones for Business FAQs
How much do you charge?
This depends on what you ask us to do for you. We provide tailor-made solutions for each company, so call us today on 0333 321 0131, Email us or contact us via our enquiry form to discuss your individual requirements. We will always let you know within our quotation, what additional expenses will be charged e.g. mileage, exam registration fees, and we will always let you know the cost before you commit.
What part of the country do you cover?
We cover all of mainland UK and the Channel Isles.
What do I do next?
If you want expert help to give your business a competitive edge from the experts who will have a vested interest in your success, then please contact us at Stepping Stones for Business. From small steps to great steps we are with you all the way.