Is Attaining ISO9001 Really Worth It, Or Is It Just A Badge? (Part 2)

The whole purpose of the ISO 9001 standard is to provide an internationally recognised method of quality control. And attaining certification demonstrates that your business is maintaining effective quality management systems.

As someone who has spent many years developing our bespoke culture of continuous improvement, I find it sadly ironic that it is possible for a business to appear ISO9001 compliant, without going through this endless cycle, or even acknowledging it as anything more than a badge.

While some businesses may just want to tick a box in a tender or approved supplier application, there are many that have the best intentions but are unwittingly misguided into buying ‘off-the-shelf’ packages – or worse, fraudulent certification.

Many years ago, early in my exploration into quality management, I was lucky to be introduced to highly experienced and trusted advisors, through an organisation I knew I could trust. When our systems were eventually ready to be audited, I already knew there was a significant distinction between UKAS accredited certification and non-accredited certification. I wanted our QMS to be the best it could be, and therefore to be recognised as such.

Accreditation by UKAS (The United Kingdom Accreditation Service) ensures that certification bodies and their auditors are regularly checked for competence and impartiality. To combat the increasing issue of counterfeit certificates, UKAS launched the CertCheck online database in June 2022 – CSB’s certification can be checked on the database by clicking this link.

So, if you are serious about your QMS, it deserves UKAS accredited certification. Avoid ‘off-the-shelf’ packages with templates into which you have to shoehorn your business. Accept that it will take considerable time and effort to develop a robust QMS, bespoke to your operations and customers’ needs – and that continuous improvement means it is never ‘finished’. Finally, a trusted consultant can provide invaluable advice and assistance in detailing and organising your processes – I know a few if you need a referral.


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