Now you have your ISO, how do you maintain it?

maintaining your ISO

It’s tempting to sit back and assume that after all your hard work, you have the certificate and nothing more is needed. Maintaining your ISO standards is vital but just how do you do that?

For most clients, the route to the successful awarding of an ISO is a journey with a few bumps in the road. With the ISO badge next to your company name speaking volumes, the temptation is to assume that there is not much more to do, but you need to maintain it and here’s how:

1 Training

Training is often a part of the certification or accreditation process, but it should also be a part of maintaining the ISO too. Business rarely stands still, because of this we need to consider developments in the management system and the use of information technology. 

As a consequence, you and your staff will need to stay up to date with these changes.

2 Identifying points of change – and acting

An internal audit can be a useful process in identifying areas of change in your business. Identified changes should be cascaded throughout the business to ensure that all staff are aware.

Good communication can prevent any additional risks to the business caused by changes to, for example, your supply chain. 

3 Ask your customers

Your customers are an integral part of your business and asking your customers about their experiences when interacting with your company is an important way of monitoring business performance.

This feedback is valuable when looking to make improvements, to enhance customer satisfaction.

4 Opt for an impartial and objective audit

At the start of the ISO journey, you’ll have gone through an audit process that identified key business areas for improvement to successfully achieve your ISO. Measuring the current performance of your business against the criteria of the ISO is important for continued success. 

Internal and external audits play an important part of this success, they can be used to examine key areas, understanding how changes have affected parts of the ISO.

Certification bodies will always look to see an objective and impartial audit, i.e. you can’t mark your own work!

In summary…

There is little doubt that acquiring an ISO is a great advantage for your business, maintaining it is just as important.

 

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