What is ISO Standard or Certification?

Posted by: QCB Category: About ISO Post Date: 03/10/2019

What is ISO Standard or Certification?

Certification is proof of compliance with the norms set by the organization. Certification is a written guarantee, issued by an entity or an independent foreign organization, which certifies a particular product, service or system according to the norm requirements.

ISO means the International Organization for Standardization (or Entity).

This organization processes and publishes international norms for economic or production sectors. ISO 9000 is a set of international norms and standards that refer to quality management systems, such as public and private enterprise organization structures, which must be adopted to market standards.

Certification is mainly based on trust, the confidence in fulfilling the norm, on the credibility of the entity that issues the certification.

ISO history

The quest for a set of international norms leads to increased trade between states in the 20th and 21st centuries. When goods are produced according to different production rates, a product or service produced in one country does not meet the requirements of another country. This lack of homogeneity increases the risk of uneven exchange rates between countries and increases barriers to trade.

From national norms to international norms

The precursor of ISO was born in 1926 under the name International Federation of National Standardization Union and further under the name International Federation of Standardization Union.

The purpose of this organization was to standardize the norms for mechanical engineering. This organization has not existed since World War II. In 1946, delegates from 25 countries gathered in London to lay the foundation for a new international standardization organization. This new entity, ISO, began its activity in 1947. The etymology of ISO comes from the Greek word “isos” which means “equal”, “same”.

Today, ISO has members from 165 countries and 3,000 technical organizations involved in the standardization process. Its central secretary is located in Geneva, Switzerland. ISO, a non-governmental organization, is the first organization to voluntarily produce nominal standards. ISO standards set internationally standards on a variety of aspects, from terminology to compliance and domestic production, to health, safety and the environment, enabling the purchase and trading of goods worldwide and also enabling exchanges between commercial enterprises.

What is Quality Management System?

ISO 9001-2015 represents the certification of the quality management system of businesses of all sectors and all sizes. ISO 9000 norms indicate how an enterprise should act to provide a quality service in response to what is required of the customer. Certification under this set of norms is a system certification and not a product; it’s not a service certification, but a firm management system.

ISO 9001-2015 is focused on:

  • The client and his satisfaction;
  • A firm’s vision as a set of processes that have a close relationship;
  • To provide products or services that respond to specified requirements;
  • Continuous improvement and innovation;
  • To administer quality means to administer the efficiency and effectiveness of its processes through:
  • Process recognition, management and monitoring;
  • Ability to incorporate human resources;
  • Centralization of leadership role at high levels of the firm.

Working efficiently and effectively results in reduced costs. Applying quality standards, a better market understanding is achieved, with better quality and lower prices.


  • Managing the efficiency of the activity, helping to improve everyone’s performance and respond to requirements;
  • The benefit of a monitoring and measurement system that guarantees the effectiveness of controls;
  • Increase competition and reliability, distinctiveness in the reference market;
  • Having an internationally validated certification, additional element for participation in tenders.

Why does it matter?

“Possession of a qualification permits participation in tenders or competitions that require it”;

“Verify the correct implementation of the management system”;

“To be aware that improvement achieved depends on a management system and not on one’s own initiative”;

“Having an incentive to improve and fulfill customer satisfaction”.

Key certification points through some questions and answers.

ISO 9001 quality management system is an international standard that defines what is needed to ensure the quality of products or services consistently to meet customer requirements. This includes managing system processes, documents and data.

The principles of quality management:

  • Focus on the client;
  • Leadership skills;
  • Involvement of people;
  • Process approach;
  • System approach;
  • Continual improvement;
  • Evidence-based decision making;
  • Mutually beneficial supplier relationships.

ISO 14001 – Environmental Management System provides practical tools for companies that want to manage existing and potential environmental risks. This system is easily integrated into the business management structure to control the impact that activities, operations, products and services have on the environment.

ISO 14001 (Environmental Management System) is a management tool that allows companies of various types and sizes to:

  • Identify and control the environmental impact of activities, products or services;
  • Improve environmental performance continuously;
  • Apply a systematic approach to set environmental objectives and how the objectives are achieved, as well as the evidence that these objectives have been achieved.

ISO 27001, Information Security Management System guarantees the security of information technology. The standard is applicable to all types of companies, including government institutions, commercial companies and non-profit agencies. Determines requirements for operation, monitoring, designation, implementation, review, maintenance and improvement of the documented information security management system.

An information security management system, that is correctly implemented, reduces the risks that information assets can suffer by:

  • Integrated company information technology / information security programs;
  • Systematically examine the company’s security risks, including impacts, threats and vulnerabilities;
  • Harmonize information security with the overall objectives of your business.

ISO 22000 (Food Safety Management System) is an international certification that can be achieved to ensure food safety. As ISO 22000 is a general management standard for food safety, it can be used by any company that is directly or indirectly involved in the food chain from agriculture to food services, processing, transportation, storage to packaging and sales.

ISO 39001 brings together best practices and knowledge about road traffic safety and quality management systems to ensure safety management.

ISO 50001 Energy Management System (EnMS) is a new standard designed to assist companies in implementing an appropriate management system to identify and minimize energy consumption. Implementation should reduce energy costs of companies, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other environmental impacts. The standard is based on common elements that can be found in many standards of ISO management systems, and this guarantees easier compliance and integration with ISO 9001 (Quality) and ISO 14001 (Environment) management systems and other equivalent standards.

SA 8000 is an international certification standard that supports companies in development, maintenance and implementation of appropriate social practices in the workplace.

SA8000 is the first auditing standard for social certification in Social Responsibility, created in 1989 by International Social Responsibility (SAI). This system complies with ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 and is based on the United Nations declaration for human rights, the ILO convention, the United Nations and national legislation and enables companies to measure social performance.

SA 8000 provides transparent, measurable and controllable standards for certification of companies’ performance in nine areas:

  • Child labor;
  • Forced labor;
  • Health and safety;
  • Freedom of assembly;
  • The right to collective settlement;
  • Discrimination;
  • Disciplinary Practices;
  • Working hours/working time;
  • The reward;
  • Management systems.

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