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Created: 16/11/2017

Management System Certification Benefits: Where Do We Stand?

In the quest to create, deliver and capture value and sustain superior performance and business results, more than 1 million organizations have implemented and are certified according to ISO Management Systems Standards (MSS), on a worldwide basis and across all activity sectors.

International Management Standards establish ways to systematize the organizational processes and provide documented information on their management and results. They cover different areas such as quality, environment, health and safety, information security, and social responsibility. From the several ISO International Management Systems Standards, ISO 9001: Quality Management Systems – Requirements and ISO 14001: Environmental Management Systems — Requirements, are the two most widely used.

Research supports the view that Quality Management Systems (QMS) can bring significant benefits for organizations competitiveness and success, by helping them to operate efficiently and respond to customer and key stakeholder requirements. Internal motivations to implement ISO 9001 can foster organizational and process improvements which may contribute to better quality and customer satisfaction, contributing to better financial performance and competitive position. External motivation can improve the access to markets, satisfy customer requirements, enhance the organization image, and facilitate the access to governmental incentives, but if no internal improvements are implemented, and the goal is just to do the minimum to achieve certification, the external benefits might not endure.

ISO 9001 certification can have both internal (e.g., improved product quality, short delivery times, cost reductions, better process performance, improved system documentation, and higher quality awareness), and external benefits (e.g., improved customer satisfaction, better market image and stronger competitive position).

Since the first edition of the ISO 9000 series, in 1987, ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems (QMS) have been adopted by more than 1 million organizations of all activity sectors, on a worldwide basis. While ISO 9001: Quality management system (QMS) Requirements, is the unquestionable number one MSS concerning the world number of certificates, ISO 14001: Environmental management system (EMS) Requirements has considerable methodologic similarity with ISO 9001. The implementation of ISO 9000 series has contributed to the subsequent diffusion of ISO 14001, that has been growing steadily with more than 319 thousand certifications on a world basis, and a yearly growth of 8% versus 2014.The third ISO MSS in the ISO Survey 2015 of certification has approximately one-tenth of certificates when compared to ISO 14001 (ISO 22000: Food safety management systems — Requirements).

Following ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 editions, ISO decided all MSSs should follow a similar structure, so we believe this harmonization favors the implementation of Integrated Management Systems.

A common characteristic of International Management Systems Standards is that the implementation of their requirements can be audited and certified by an independent external entity. To have its Management System (MS) certified, either Quality, Environmental, Health, and Safety or other, an organization has its MS audited by an independent certification body, to assess if it complies with the applicable International Standard requirements and achieves the intended results. Following the successful certification, the CB issues a certificate of conformity allowing the certified organization to evidence that it has implemented the standard and is successfully operating the applicable management system.

 

(according to IQNet research 2017)

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