What Is ISO 9001?

With over a million certifications worldwide, ISO 9001 is the world's most popular quality management standard. For many industries in many countries, being certified to ISO 9001 is now a basic requirement for doing business. Without that all-important ISO 9001 certificate, doors that would otherwise be open are firmly closed.

A few misconceptions surround the standard (some people think it's mainly paperwork, for example), but companies that understand and use ISO 9001 well can derive tremendous operational value from it. The standard is supported by a wealth of information and research, along with case studies that demonstrate the cost savings and increased efficiencies that an ISO 9001 system brings.

This video, published by the International Organization for Standardization, contains lots of interesting content, especially the section that reveals how the Phoenix Police Department saved over 11 million dollars by implementing ISO 9001.

ISO 9001 is applicable to all organizations, regardless of size, industry or location. Some people think ISO 9001 is only for larger enterprises, but this isn't true. Small companies can implement ISO 9001 and gain the same benefits as larger organizations. Another mistaken belief is that ISO 9001 is only applicable to companies in the manufacturing sector. No, ISO 9001 can be implemented by service providers such as colleges, hospitals, charitable organizations and government departments. It's a very flexible standard.

ISO 9001 is a standard that sets out the requirements for a Quality Management System. It helps businesses and organizations to be more efficient and improve customer satisfaction.

International Organization for Standardization

What Is ISO 9001 Quality Management?

ISO 9001 builds on seven quality management principles. We encourage you to learn about these principles and their importance. Doing so will enable your organization to implement ISO 9001 more easily.

The seven quality management principles are:

ISO 9001 Benefits

There are numerous benefits associated with ISO 9001, chief among which are:

Is it Expensive to Set Up ISO 9001?

It shouldn't be. A couple of professional training courses, supported by a high quality DIY Implementation Kit, should be sufficient. In most cases there's no need for small or medium-sized organizations to spend large amounts of cash to set up an ISO 9001 system and get certified. Worth stressing here is that strong leadership is essential. In the early stages of an implementation project, it's hugely important to generate employee buy-in and dispel doubts and uncertainties.

The needs for larger enterprises are different. Hiring an external consultant may provide a useful kickstart and provide valuable help with the initial gap analysis and compiling a list of issues that need addressing.

Does ISO 9001 Meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

Yes. The UN's seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were rolled out in 2015 as part of a program to create peace and prosperity for people everywhere on our planet. ISO 9001 embraces four of these SDGs. See below.

Sustainable Development Goal 1 Sustainable Development Goal 9 Sustainable Development Goal 12 Sustainable Development Goal 14

Ready to take things further? Not sure what sort of ISO 9001 training is best for you? No worries.

We offer a broad range of ISO 9001 training solutions, covering everything from a foundation course to highly-focused training aimed at internal auditors. If you're not sure what sort of training is best for you or your colleagues, read our ISO 9001 Online Training article. It tells you everything you need to know.