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ISO standards explained: Which one is right for you?

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Quality management standards cover everything an organization does to manage its processes and activities. Implementing a quality management standard offers benefits for companies across industries, regardless of their size.

ISO international standards are the most widely used quality management standards around the world.

Here are some of the most popular ISO standards and a look at whether or not they are right for your business.

ISO 9001—Quality management

More than one million businesses around the world are certified to ISO 9001. Obtaining this standard shows your commitment to providing the highest quality products or services to your customers.

Getting ISO 9001 certified can help you:

  • Reduce quality problems
  • Increase cost savings and productivity
  • Enhance customer satisfaction
  • Create greater demand for your products and services
  • Make your business more competitive
  • Make better decisions and improve employee morale

The ISO 9001 norm is frequently updated. The latest revision to the ISO 9001:2015 version offered a number of improvements over the previous standard.

  • There is now greater consistency between the ISO 9001 standard and other norms in the ISO family.
  • The new ISO 9001 standard requires businesses to use “risk-based thinking” to identify, consider and control the risks that are inherent in any system, process or function.
  • The standard is more flexible and requires less documentation than previous versions.

ISO 14000—Environmental management

ISO 14000 is an international standard for environmental management systems. ISO 14001 certification can help you:

  • Enhance your environmental performance
  • Fulfill compliance obligations
  • Achieve environmental objectives
  • Generate greater demand for your products and services and increase their acceptance
  • Reduce risk and liability while increasing efficiency and customer confidence

ISO 22000—Food safety management

The ISO 22000 certification is an international food safety management system.

ISO 22000 certification can help you:

  • Develop a food safety management system
  • Demonstrate your compliance with government food safety requirements
  • Gain customer confidence
  • Develop new partnership and export opportunities
  • Build employee awareness of hygiene and safety

ISO 50001—energy management

The ISO 50001 certification works with the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards to integrate energy management into your company’s overall quality and environmental improvement efforts.

ISO 50001 certification can help you:

  • Develop a policy for energy efficiency
  • Establish energy use targets
  • Collect and use data to make decisions about energy use

Get outside help

Regardless of the ISO international standard you choose, it’s a good idea to reach out to an experienced consultant who can help you implement the processes and procedures you need to get certified.


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