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.

What You Need to Know About ISO 9001 Awareness Training

What You Need to Know About ISO 9001 Awareness Training

We’ve previously covered management commitment to ISO 9001 certification, but ISO 9001 awareness training should also be top of mind. For a business to succeed in implementing their ISO 9001 standards, the employees must also buy into the vision. As The Houston Chronicle notes, if you don’t communicate how your QMS works or which aspects of quality you’re focusing on, your program will fail. In the case of ISO 9001, awareness training is how businesses can seek to inform their employees about the QMS and what constitutes “quality” in the company’s terms. But what defines quality, and how can you communicate that to employees effectively?

Understanding ISO Quality Awareness

An employee does not need to know all the details of the ISO standard. In fact, adding that information to their plate can overwhelm them and make them less likely to support the standard’s implementation. ISO quality awareness has a much smaller scope. For ISO 9001 awareness training can help employees understand their role in the QMS, and how their specific duties impact its functioning. Therefore, awareness training allows employees to learn how their actions play a critical part in the implementation of the ISO 9001 standard. Quality awareness doesn’t mean the employee knows the ISO standards definition inside and out. It means that they are aware of how their contribution affects the company’s push towards compliance.

Employee Engagement and ISO 9001 Awareness Training

We covered in a previous blog post how managers who want to engage their employees properly should approach implementing the ISO 9001 standard. Employee engagement goes hand in hand with awareness training. To properly engage an employee, management must understand their competencies. What are those particular employees good at? Once you determine the roles they are best suited for, you can engage them by showing them how their actions impact the larger picture. ISO compliance requires all hands to be on deck. ISO 9001 awareness training allows employees to judge whether their actions are compliant with the standard. Employees can then take corrective action, with the end goal of being compliant in line with the business’s goals.

Knowledge Fosters Self-Correction

Employee buy-in, combined with the knowledge of the employee’s specific role, can help develop a self-correcting positive feedback loop. Employees within a company should demonstrate autonomy for certain things. Internal audits form a part of the ISO certification process, but if an employee can self-audit the company benefits. An employee who can determine his or her compliance makes the internal auditor’s overall job much more manageable. When the business gets to the point of external auditing in anticipation of certification, each employee’s self-auditing nature ensures that the company remains compliant. Whether the company can rely on employees to self-audit comes back to ISO 9001 awareness training.

What Employees Should Know

The standard has a series of requirements that employees need to know:

  • The company’s quality policy
  • The quality objectives for the employee’s department
  • The employee’s specific contribution to the success of the QMS
  • What benefits improved performance will bring to the company
  • What non-compliance means and the consequences of failing to meet the standard

These key points offer employees the motivation and the knowledge to contribute to the QMS in a meaningful way. It serves to empower and inform the workers so that they can align themselves with the company’s vision. By offering employees this level of knowledge, management shares the burden of responsibility and makes the employee feel like an integral part of the company. This feeling is crucial to achieving employee buy-in and raising engagement.

If you’re looking for a professional consultant to help you develop tools for your ISO 9001 awareness training, Sync Resource remains dedicated to helping our clients achieve their certification goals. Call us today, and let us help you train your workforce to self-correct!


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.

How ISO 9001 Can Improve Project Management?

How ISO 9001 Can Improve Project Management?

How ISO 9001 Can Improve Project Management?


There are a few sets of standards for project management that businesses need to meet in case of quality.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a set of international standards established to assist companies effectively document the quality system foundations to be instigated to carry out an adequate quality structure. They are not specific to any one industry or company among which ISO 9001 holds particular importance.

The standard directs the companies to a sustainable and quality oriented business plan that satisfies their customers’ demands. Their products and services need to meet their customers’ and clients’ requirements consistently. Along with that, it assists regular improvement in quality, keeping in mind the legislative and supervisory requirements.

No matter what the size of the company, ISO 9001 can be used by any organization to enhance their performance, focusing on customers’ needs, providing motivation to improve, auditing quality, etc.

It can also be used by companies from any industry sector be it healthcare, energy, and resources, industrial manufacturing, etc.

A fundamental component of most industries’ corporate activity is undertaking project works. These are to solve problems, exploiting opportunities and many other reasons. To carry it all out an efficient team is required composed of different individuals holding different talents and set of skills.

From the setup to executing it till the end, the project is responsibly planned, and its objectives are prioritized appropriately, or else bad it can be vulnerable to bad decisions leading to failure to achieve desired goals.

Everything from instigation, preparation, accomplishing, monitoring and closing the work needs to be done in the specified time set for the goals.

ISO for QMS provides sophisticated concepts and procedures that are well thought out to arrange good run-through in project management. Using the disciplines of ISO 9001 allows project managers to expand the success rate of their projects and succeed in their business plans.

Project Management and ISO 9001 Goes Hand In Hand!

Yes, you heard it right!

Want to see when ISO 9001 and Project Management shake hands together then what can be achieved with their combined powers?

Through process management, ISO 9001 and Project management can be very integrated into each other also.

Let’s deep dive into real benefits of Project management and ISO 9001…

Create a Service Culture

The project methodology is not the only aspect ISO 9001 certification entails an organization to embrace; Customer satisfaction is just as essential and crucial.

If the customers are not happy with the product and services provided the whole objective of the business is a waste. This is why customer criticism is measured continuously. It is imperative that the service culture is adopted.

ISO 9001 can boost the rate of success of an organization if the project seeks to supply products and services to external or to bid for prestigious contracts, where quality is a priority.

Customers want products and services that they are buying to meet their demands and retain the quality consistently. A lot of organizations device a formal quality management structure to ensure that their customers and clients commend their products and services.

Customers’ confidence can be achieved by using an effective quality management system such as ISO 9001. The organization can gain their customers’ trust in the project once they are ensured that the company prioritizes the quality.

Encourage Employee Engagement

ISO 9001 can aid in drilling confidence in workforces if projects and schemes have a reputation of being afflicted by low staff morale in the past. It helps increase motivations and improve work.

The senior management is provided with a resourceful controlling process that allows areas of responsibility to be established through the company with the help of ISO 9001. An efficient administration process supports the employees, who can now enjoy a smoothly functioning process and clarity about their work and responsibilities.

Once the overall operational process synchronizes the way an organization commences its project management, it will improve the whole overall functioning process and more importantly, will enhance employee buy-in.

The company’s staff will be more motivated and confident once non-efficient methods are replaced with functional, fruit-bearing ones.

Once the staff realizes that the overall success of the projects is on their shoulders, they will take their job more seriously and enjoy greater job satisfaction.

To execute the project successfully every team member needs to be clear about their goals and what is expected from them.

Teamwork and coordination make achieving the desired results possible. It is essential that the entire team is clear about the project being undertaken. This way, the company can expect is employees to understand the importance of goal achieving and the objectives of the project.

Being on the same page will also encourage employee engagement and productivity without any confusion or slip-ups.

Enjoy a Strategic Advantage

ISO 9001 with a high success rate, encourages a globally agreed quality management system. The millions of companies and organizations can prove its successful execution in over 170 countries that put their trust in this quality management system and are certified to it.

This helps ensure that organizations can carry out the same concepts and arrangements in their contractual and working relationships with clients, partners and other stakeholders. This leaves no room for confusion and complications. This aids the developments of project-based companies globally and offers ISO 9001 certified corporations with a tactical lead.

When ISO 9001 certified companies work together, they have an advantage over those with different quality management process as they are already used to satisfying similar standards, making their coordination more productive and fruitful.

Enhance Project Management Efficiency

ISO-based project management is not only beneficial to organizations and businesses but also offers an exclusive pro to those authorities seeking to manage projects.

Project management teams do not always entirely involve workforces and employees. A lot of them can be generated or accumulated under an agreement and contain the contribution of specialists from numerous topographical and expert areas.

To pull together project management teams in this way there needs to be temporary collaboration and alliance between groups.  With the help of ISO 9001 QMS, the management process is globally agreed upon, putting the companies on the same page and familiar with the execution methods.

If team members recognize and use those processes, they can enjoy greater success, efficacy, and flexibility working together.

Get the ISO 9001 Certification Cheat Sheet.

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.

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