Becoming ISO Certified Basics: Process & Guide


If you are looking to become ISO certified, then you have come to the right place. In this blog post, we will discuss the basics of the certification process and provide a guide that will help you through it. ISO certification can be a great way to improve your business operations and show your customers that you are committed to quality. It can also help you stand out from the competition. However, becoming certified is not an easy task – it takes time and effort. We hope that this blog post will provide you with all the information you need to get started!

What is ISO Certification?

ISO certification is a voluntary process that businesses can go through to show that they meet the requirements of an ISO standard. Certification is granted by third-party organizations, such as certification bodies after they have assessed a business against the requirements of the relevant ISO standard. Once a business is certified, they are allowed to use the ISO logo and can advertise that they are certified.

Authority Behind ISO Certification

Accreditation bodies are the authority behind ISO certification. They are independent organizations that assess certification bodies to ensure they are competent and capable of conducting certification audits. Only if a certification body meets the requirements of the accreditation body, they are allowed to certify businesses. IAF (International Accreditation Forum) and ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation) are two of the most well-known accreditation bodies.

Role of ISO Consulting bodies and Certification Bodies

Role of ISO Consulting Bodies

ISO consulting bodies are organizations that provide advice and guidance on ISO standards. They can help businesses to understand the requirements of ISO certification and how to comply with them. Consulting bodies do not conduct certification audits or grant certification. They can provide guidance and tools that businesses can use to prepare for certification.

Role of Certification Bodies

Certification bodies are organizations that conduct certification audits. They assess businesses against the requirements of ISO standards and decide if they are compliant. If a business is found to be compliant, the certification body will grant them certification. Certification bodies are independent and unbiased – they do not provide consulting services or give businesses advice on how to comply with ISO standards.


Some businesses self-certify that they adhere to a specific ISO standard. The organization voluntarily accepts that it has not in this instance paid for third-party certification. It has concluded that it believes itself to be in compliance with the specifications contained in the relevant ISO standard (via its own internal audit procedure, which is not certified). It makes no claim to possess a certificate. This statement is more honest because it states that “we have a good system, but we lack certification”. However, we think that our system meets ISO standards. Even if it is true, the world of certification doesn’t really take this assertion seriously.

General Activities in Preparing for ISO Certification

There are a few general activities that businesses should undertake when preparing for ISO certification:

Understand the requirements of the relevant ISO standard

The first step is to understand the requirements of the relevant ISO standard. The standard will outline what you need to do in order to be compliant. You can purchase a copy of the standard from the ISO website or from a standard body such as ANSI.

Identify gaps in your current system

Once you have a good understanding of the requirements of the standard, you need to identify any gaps in your current system. This means looking at your current procedures and processes and seeing where they do not meet the requirements of the standard.

Implement changes to your system

Once you have identified the gaps in your system, you need to implement changes to close those gaps. This may involve changing your procedures, introducing new processes, or investing in new software or hardware.

Document your system

You need to document your system so that you can prove to the certification body that you are compliant with the standard. This documentation should include things like your quality manual, procedures, and process flow charts.

Train your staff

You need to train your staff on the new system so that they are familiar with the procedures and processes. This will ensure that they are able to work effectively and efficiently under the new system.

Conduct internal audits

You need to conduct internal audits to check that your system is compliant with the standard. This will involve auditing your documentation and procedures and checking that they are being followed correctly.

Correct any non-conformities

If you find any non-conformities during your internal audits, you need to correct them as soon as possible. This may involve making changes to your system or retraining your staff.

Steps involved in ISO Certification

There are a few steps involved in ISO certification:

1. Applying for certification – The first step is to apply for certification from a certification body. You will need to fill out an application form and provide the required documentation.

2. Scheduling an audit – Once your application has been received, the certification body will schedule an audit. The audit will be conducted by a team of auditors who will check that your system is compliant with the relevant ISO standard.

3. Correcting any non-conformities – If the audit team finds any non-conformities, you will need to correct them before certification can be granted.

4. Receiving certification – Once all the non-conformities have been corrected, you will receive a certificate from the certification body. This certificate will show that your system is compliant with the relevant ISO standard.

Why Become ISO Certified?

There are a few reasons why you might want to become ISO certified:

  • It helps businesses streamline their internal processes and become more efficient.
  • It helps minimize waste, reduce errors, and improve overall productivity.
  • It gives customers and clients confidence in a company’s products or services.
  • It can open up new markets and help a company to expand its customer base.
  • It can help a company to win new contracts and tenders.
  • It can give employees a sense of pride in their work and provide them with a sense of ownership in the company’s success.
  • It can help to improve communication and collaboration within a company.

Myths Around ISO Certification

There are a few myths around ISO certification that you should be aware of:

1. Myth: ISO certification is expensive and time-consuming.

Fact: The cost of ISO certification varies depending on the size and complexity of your business. However, the benefits of certification can far outweigh the costs.

2. Myth: ISO certification is only for big businesses.

Fact: Any size of business can benefit from ISO certification.

3. Myth: ISO certification is a one-time event.

Fact: Certification is an ongoing process that requires regular audits and reviews.

4. Myth: Once you are certified, you do not need to make any further changes to your system.

Fact: Certification is an ongoing process that requires continual improvement.

5. Myth: The ROI of ISO certification is difficult to measure.

Fact: The benefits of ISO certification can be measured in terms of improved efficiency, waste reduction, and increased sales.


Becoming ISO certified can bring many benefits to your business, including increased customer satisfaction, new business opportunities, and improved efficiency. The certification process may seem daunting at first, but by following the steps outlined above, you can ensure a smooth and successful transition to ISO compliance.