Wondering What To Do For ISO 9001 For Small Business? Best Practices For Certification

Wondering What To Do For ISO 9001 For Small Business? Best Practices For Certification

You may be wondering exactly what to do for ISO 9001 for small business. Keep in mind that ISO Certification is a significant step for a small business to raise its reputation. Indeed notes that ISO certification allows a company to establish its credibility among consumers, business partners, and other stakeholders. For small businesses, ISO 9001 certification can make them stand out in a crowded field. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) informs us that ISO 9001 deals with the establishment and maintenance of a quality management system (QMS). Unfortunately, the road to certification is complicated. Most companies need to delve into what to do for ISO 9001 for small business. Luckily, we can break down the process in an easy-to-understand way.

The Overview Of the Process

We’ve covered a simplified method of getting ISO 9001 certification before, but for small businesses we’ve condensed the process into a few appropriate steps:

  • Adopt the standard: Buy the standards publication, read it, and decide that you want to achieve certification.
  • Find a consultant: Ideally, a company that knows how to help small businesses meet the needs of the standard would be what you’re looking for.
  • Examine existing processes: See what your existing processes are and how they compare to the standard.
  • Make necessary adjustments: If your systems are already functioning in compliance with the standard, there’s nothing to do. If they aren’t up to standard, then you need to make changes and re-examine.
  • Select a registrar: This body will perform an external audit to ensure that you conform to the standard.
  • Deal with issues: After the audit finishes, you should address the shortcomings that the registrar found to achieve your certification.

The process seems simplistic when laid out like this, but each one of these steps has many smaller parts involved. Achieving certification is an ongoing process. Even after the certification, you will need to renew it every few years, which requires the systems you put in place to remain operational. Luckily, the ISO 9001 process has something designed just for this purpose.

The PDCA Cycle

If you want to know what to do for ISO 9001 for small businesses, the core of the continuous improvement process hinges on the PDCA cycle. PDCA stands for Plan-Do-Check-Act. It describes how a company should deal with meeting and maintaining the standards prescribed by the ISO 9001. Each of these steps has its own responsibilities:

  • Plan:

The planning stage defines the aims of the component, and the material and personnel needed to achieve those aims in line with the business policy.

  • Do:

Once the plan is finalized, the business proceeds to work to meet the previously outlined plan’s goals.

  • Check:

The process is monitored and compared to the plan. This step is usually where documentation happens, and corrective measures are suggested to ensure that the process conforms to the plan.

  • Act:

Suggestions proposed in the previous step are tested for viability, and if they are workable solutions, the business can then implement them.

A Wholistic Alignment: Understanding What To Do For ISO 9001 For Small Business

The ISO 9001 standard is unique in its approach since it allows businesses to align their business objectives with the implementation of their QMS. Part of the process requires that companies look inward and define their strengths and weaknesses, as well as external threats that could impact their industry. Additionally, the inclusion of employee awareness as an integral part of the process keeps everyone on the same page. It helps promote buy-in at the employee level to establish and maintain the ISO 9001 standard.

Interested in seeing what ISO 9001 can do for your small business? Contact Sync Resource today to find out what to do for ISO 9001 for small business.

ISO 9001: The Key Importance of ISO Employee Training

ISO 9001: The Key Importance of ISO Employee Training

ISO employee training, also known as competence and awareness training, is critical in ensuring that a company complies with ISO standards for certification. Yahoo Small Business mentions that, no matter how good your QMS system is unless people are aware of its existence, it might as well be invisible.

Competence and awareness forms a significant part of several ISO standard, including ISO 9001. It is crucial for businesses seeking ISO certification to take the necessary steps for proper training. Ensuring employees have ISO employee training as part of their preparations for certification is crucial to success. But what does ISO competence and awareness training consist of?

The Roles Within the Company

Because ISO 9001 encompasses the entire organization, each department has its own responsibilities to ensure that employees are competent in using the system and aware that it exists. Three departments within an organization spearhead the responsibility for ensuring ISO employee training. These are:

Human Resources Department

This department holds the responsibility for ensuring that employees are adequately trained in using the system. Alongside departmental heads, HR will ensure that employees meet the competence standards in using the QMS. HR will also verify that employees follow all procedures according to the ISO guidelines.

If any breaches of compliance are detected, the HR department then moves into planning mode. This shift allows them to figure out how to resolve the problems that have arisen. Documentation is a significant part of the ISO 9001 standard. HR is responsible for documenting all training that has happened within the organization.

Departmental Leaders

Within each department, there is a single leader responsible for ensuring each worker underneath them has undergone ISO training. Their first responsibility lies with ensuring that all employees within their department are competent with the regulations.

They are a redundant check on the HR department. Their interest ensures that all employee records about workers in their department are updated regarding their training. Regular reviews are also the purvey of these departmental leaders. Ideally, they would take time to advise employees under their management about what needs to be changed.

They should also help in arranging training for employees. Some workers may need further clarification on critical issues within the company’s strategic plan. Training plans may need to be modified to fit specific workers’ needs.

This action helps make the ISO training a more robust system that addresses individual weaknesses within the organization. Businesses that prefer to try a one-size-fits-all approach are likely to find it challenging to encompass their staff’s unique needs. Departmental leaders are a vital part of ensuring these training exercises pinpoint specific needs within the workforce.


Management hands down the mandate for the company’s transition into ISO compliance, but in keeping with that goal, a few responsibilities also rest with them. The requirements for competency that the business will judge its employees on will be developed by management.
This responsibility ensures that those lower down the hierarchy are well-aware management’s vision for the company’s compliance with ISO 9001. Creating requirements is only the first part of the solution. The second part requires following up with employees to ensure they are competent. Again, this redundancy ensures that departmental heads are taking their responsibilities in employee training seriously.

Why Is ISO Employee Training Important?

In summary, ISO employee training exists as a method of ensuring that the vision of ISO compliance doesn’t die with upper management. Competence and awareness are crucial parts of implementing a working QMS because each employee needs to be aware of the situation.
Knowing what the QMS is being used for and how they play a part within its success is of critical value in maintaining the business’s certification. Overlooking this requirement could lead to the company entering non-compliance very quickly. Sync Resource has helped many companies develop training programs that address competence and awareness. Contact us today for guidance on how to develop these training regimens.

Bits and Bytes – The No. 1 Formula for Learning the Benefits of How to get ISO Certification for Software Company

Bits and Bytes – The No. 1 Formula for Learning the Benefits of How to get ISO Certification for Software Company

Understanding how to get ISO certification for software company brings a lot of potential and possibilities for a small business. Certification underlines the company’s dedication to upholding industry standards.

Indeed reinforces this by stating that ISO certification establishes credibility within the industry and increases consumer trust with their service provider.

Many software companies avoid ISO certification because they don’t think the standards apply to their industry.

This opinion isn’t strictly true. Software companies stand to benefit from implementing two essential ISO standards: ISO 9001 and ISO 27001.

In this article, we’ll delve into what these certifications are and what they bring to the table for software companies.

Defining The Standards for How to Get ISO Certification for Software Company

Software companies, like many small businesses, utilize several standard practices. ISO 9001, as we previously explained, deals with establishing a quality management service within the company.

The International Standards Organization itself states that certifications from the ISO 9000 family help businesses to maintain the quality of their products and customer service through an iterative methodology.

In particular, software companies depend upon excellent customer support and high-quality products to help make a name for themselves and stand out from the competition.

Another vital certification that software companies shouldn’t overlook is ISO 27001.

We’ve touched on how this particular certification can be critical to small businesses since it deals primarily with data protection.

The International Standards Organization mentions that the ISO 27001 certification offers peace of mind when it comes to data security by helping a business establish an Information Security Management System (ISMS).

How to Get ISO Certification for Software Company – The Steps Involved

Each of these ISO certification standards has its own requirements, and as such, we will be covering each one separately.

ISO 9001

In a previous post, we mentioned a simplified 5-step process that a company could undertake to achieve ISO 9001 certification. For those who missed that post, the five steps we mentioned are:

  1. Get Informed:
    Source basic and essential information about the ISO certification process. Companies should start by designating a member of staff as the “point person” for this process, making them the go-to person for all ISO-related issue.
  2. Prepare Documentation:
    ISO 9001 is heavily based on documentation. At this stage, a company should be getting the documents they currently have and note the materials they lack compared to what the standard requires.
  3. Implement Certification Requirements:
    Using the information generated from the previous step, a company can note its weakest areas and its lack of documentation. Taking into account the requirements for certification, the company can see where they comply with the regulations entirely, partially, or not at all.
  4. Internal Audit:
    Once the company has arranged its documentation, it can undergo an internal audit. At this stage, the company inspects its documentation and compares it to the requirements. Glaring errors can be picked up and rectified here, and the company may need to go through multiple internal audits before it’s ready for the next step.
  5. External Audit and Certification:
    A third-party certification body will visit the company in the final step and perform a thorough audit of the company’s documents and system improvements. If it meets the standards, the company will achieve ISO 9001 certification.

ISO 27001

We also outlined a detailed methodology of how a company can obtain ISO 27001 certification in a past post. The process is a bit more involved, covering eleven steps:

  1. Identify objectives
  2. Get management on board with the plan
  3. Ensure the scope of the project is acceptable
  4. Develop an ISMS brief covering the policy
  5. Define the Methodology for Risk Assessment and the Strategy the company intends to pursue
  6. Develop a risk treatment plan and manage the risks that already exist within the system
  7. Create policies to take on risks
  8. Define the resources required for implementing those policies and train the staff to be more aware of the implementation process
  9. Monitor the ISMS after it goes online
  10. Prepare for an internal audit
  11. Have management review the ISMS periodically for improvements or updates

Certification Raises Marketability

A company that learns how to get ISO certification for software company raises its stature on the open market. Businesses know they can trust ISO certified companies. As a result, those companies tend to get more consideration compared to others in tendering processes around the world.

If you’d like to have a more competitive business, contact Sync Resource today, and let’s help you achieve how to get ISO certification for software company.

ISO 9001 Management Principles

ISO 9001 Management Principles

Getting expert help with your ISO 9001 certification will save you time and money.

Eight ISO 9001 Management Principles of ISO 9001 Standard

Enlisted below are the top eight ISO 9001 management principles:

  • Focus on Customers’ Needs and Demands
  • Top Leadership Commitment
  • Employees’ Engagement
  • Fundamental Process Approach
  • Basic System Approach
  • Continual Improvement Cycle
  • Evidence-Based Approach for Decision Making
  • Supplier Vendor Relationship

Mandatory ISO 9001 Certification Documentation

  • Objectives and criteria to measure success
  • Quality Policy
  • Customer Feedback
  • Management Reviews
  • Internal Audits
  • Document Control
  • Process Interaction and its Approach
  • Supplier Relationship
  • ISO 9001 standard copy

What are the Options to Implement ISO 9001 Certification?

There are two basic options to get ISO 9001 implemented in any organization.

  • Hiring an ISO Expert Consultant
  • DIY (Do It Yourself Approach)

Get the ISO 9001 Certification Cheat Sheet.

ISO 9001 Implementation with the Help of ISO Expert Consultant

If you have decided to take an external help i.e. hiring an ISO expert consultant who has success-proven experience of implementing ISO 9001 standard and the ISO 9001 management principles.  Here are the following benefits an ISO consultant should offer you.

  • A consultant will Get Your Work Done on Your Behalf

After hiring a consultant, all the implementation process and documentation will be the job of the consultant. Ensure your team uses consultants and provides them support whenever needed and the consultant is well-supervised by the higher management. Your consultant should follow the ISO 9001 management principles.

  • Corrective Actions in Documentations

The consultant will have a detailed study about existing documentation of your organization and will advise and discuss the required amendments. After management approval, the consultant will make sure to do necessary corrections and will assist your team to implement such mandatory corrections.

  • Training

Make sure your consultant will educate and train your staff about all the mandatory requirements of ISO 9001 standard and will ensure that the team knows and deeply understand.

ISO 9001 DIY (Do It Yourself) Approach

The DIY approach might not be workable for every business type and every business need depending upon the number of employees being working for the group. In this case, your own employees will be responsible for doing process analysis, conducting various interview sessions, designing and even re-designing documentation process but that would again depend on how much your employees are being trained and educated on ISO 9001 standard or if they have some relevant exposure or not.

Make sure your employees are not overwhelmed with other day to day projects because daily routine work might overburden your current employees and they won’t be able to focus on actual most important task i.e. ISO 9001 implementation. Getting your documents ready by your own employees will make them feel empowered and will definitely increase their competency level by making them learn in their own way to sustain ISO 9001 management principles in their system.

How to Decide Which Approach Is Best For Your Business?

There is no hard and fast rule to implement ISO 9001. It is dependent on your current business situation.

Go For Hiring A Consultant Only If:

  • You have time limits. ISO 9001 implementation is a time-bound process so hire an ISO expert consultant if you have a time crunch.
  • Your employees are busy with current projects and not able to manage ISO 9001 implementation as a priority.
  • You are confident about the competency of the ISO consultant.

Go for DIY Approach Only If:

  • You have ample time before the audit and your employees have prior experience and knowledge of ISO standards and implementation.
  • You had a bad financial year and cannot afford to hire a consultant.
  • You don’t believe in knowledge sharing.

Before Hiring Any ISO Consultant

Some ISO consultants might help you by going the extra mile to get you ISO 9001 certified. On the other hand, some ISO consultants prefer to get their job done, go for certification, get paid and move to the next job.

Being a major stakeholder of your company, do your homework first in order to make sure you hire the best of the best ISO consultants.

Looking to get ISO 9001 accreditation for your business?

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ISO 9001 Actions for Improvement

ISO 9001 Actions for Improvement

ISO 9001 Actions for Improvement is based on Quality Management System abbreviated as QMS. ISO 9001 process is not only about making current management system to be able to deliver high quality results but to initiate an infinite cycle of continuous improvement within the management system. The moment the continuous improvement cycle will initiate, one will be able to see the results not only in products but in the form of better employee engagement too.

ISO 9001:2015 in Clause 10, “Improvement” has following sub-clauses that refer to continuous improvement system that should be embedded in the system while going for ISO 9001 certification or re-certification process. These clauses are:

10.1 General

10.2 Non-conformity and Corrective actions

10.3 Continual Improvement

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The Difference Between Correction and Corrective ISO 9001 Actions for Improvement:

With ISO 9001 actions for improvement there is a very minor line that distinguishes between a correction and corrective action being taken. For example if you identify a problem and made a quick fix on temporary basis so that operation chain remains undisturbed while corrective action is not just looking at the surface and doing quick fixes. Corrective action are taken on identified root cause after doing detailed Why-Why analysis.

During execution of corrective actions, ISO 9001 guidelines do not force to document each and every corrective action that has been taken to solve nitty-gritty problems.

What Is Meant By Preventive Actions?

ISO 9001 actions for improvement include preventive actions. Preventive actions is defined as those actions that are taken to eliminate the potential non-conformity’s cause that may exist in your current system and can cause potential gap or a hurdle in certification or re-certification process.

Corrective and Preventive Actions Explained In a Nutshell:

Preventive actions are those actions those actions that are taken in order to prevent occurrence of the problem whereas Corrective actions are those actions that are taken in order to eliminate the chance of recurrence of the identified problem.

The whole process of identifying problems, solving them, preventing their future occurrence and exploring opportunities for improvement is Continuous Improvement Cycle that is an integral part of ISO 9001 implementation and maintain ISO 9001 certification.

What Is Continuous Improvement Cycle?

Continuous Improvement cycle sometimes called as PDCA (Plan Do Check Act) cycle runs on following four simple steps:

1 – Plan: Before  ISO 9001 process planning, first identify and understand the problem that you want to solve or minimize.  Planning can be done of anything like business management meeting, workforce tasks or kicking off a project. Before going to execute any task, it is important to plan it properly. Planning can be done by breaking down one big objective into small task making a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), setting up milestones and timelines for each task.

2- Do: The second “Do” step is all about executing the work that is planned in the previous step but preferably on small scale first so that you can refine your taken actions afterwards during execution. It is advisable to plan activities and set timelines of each task on realistic ground keeping all the constraints in mind so that all the activities can be accomplished within decided timelines. After executing the planned tasks, observe the results.

3- Check: Study the achieved results, measure how much effective were the actions that was taken in “Do” step and decide whether your decided and executed steps were good enough to achieve the target or not. If not, please go back to “Plan” to review task and timelines once again and then execute them in different way.

4- Act: If the executed actions were effective and sustainable to the desired level then pursue for implementation the best solution discovered so far.

Various number of iterations can be performed while doing PDCA cycle and that is where you will be moving forward to continuous improvement of your organization.

What Are the Ways In Which Any Organization Can Improve?

Any organization can be potentially improve with ISO 9001 Actions for Improvement in following three of the ways:

  • Process Improvement: How a Product or Service is delivered to the customers?
  • Product Improvement: How the product or service is designed?
  • Management Practices Improvement: a management system to enable improvements.

How PDCA cycle and ISO 9001 process are connected?

The tested and tried continuous improvement activity segmented in PDCA cycle is advisable to use when:

  • You need to implement or embed Total Quality Management (TQM) or Six Sigma or Quality Management System (QMS) in your current management system.
  • You need one time solution for your reoccurring problem and want to test them on pilot scale to test the sustainability of the advised solution.
  • You need to minimize or control waste production and to initiate some cost saving initiatives as well by eliminating the rolling out of ineffective solutions that waste your time, money and energy.

What Breakthrough Results Can Be Achieved by Continuous Improvement Cycle?

ISO 9001 process demands to have continuous improvement system to be actively embedded in the management system to maintain effectiveness of high quality standards. Top three advantages of having continuous improvement loop be embedded in your current management system are:

  • Improved efficiency in employee engagement level and in meeting day to day manufacturing targets.
  • Meeting and even going beyond customer’s expectations.
  • Minimization of gaps between ISO 9001 standard and your current management system leading to fully compliance and ease in maintaining ISO 9001 certification.
  • Waste reduction leading to cost saving and improved profit margins.

Process for ISO 9001 Corrective and Preventive Action:

The process for ISO 9001 Actions for Improvement include corrective and preventive action steps simplified below:

  • Define the Problem: Identify and understand the bug. It is preferred to write a problem statement that consists of 5-W and 1-H rule.
  • Define the Scope: Defining how big the problem is defining its scope. What is the problem, when it occurs, where does it occurs, why it occurs, who the problem is about and how it occurs.
  • Containment Actions: Advise and perform some immediate fixes known as “Just Do” to minimize the problem for the time being.
  • Finding the Root Cause: Root cause can be find out by using various problem solving methodologies. The most effective yet simple ones are Fishbone analysis and asking “Why” five times until an actual root cause is discovered.
  • Planning Corrective Actions: Plan actions that should be taken to eliminate the root cause.
  • Implementing the Corrective Actions: implement corrective actions on small scale that are decided in previous step.
  • Reevaluate the Achieved Results: Wait some appropriate amount of time and observe if the problem reoccurs. If the problem reoccurs after implementing corrective and preventive actions, need to see actual root cause and fix it.

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