ISO 9001:2008 certification

#5: Certification process

Posted by Walter Alini 3 years, 10 months ago Comments

[This series: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6]

We have documented and reviewed our processes, and we have adapted those aspects we were not doing (or doing them not in a good way) to the ISO 9001:2008 standard.

We also conduct internal audits to verify and correct the things we were not doing properly, and to realize that there are many things we can improve.

We are almost ready to certify. It’s time for a company (with certification license) to come to audit us, and hopefully recommend the issuance of a Quality Certificate for our company.

The certification process, in the way we experienced at Machinalis, has the following (approximate) times and moments:

  • Choosing the certifying entity. In the same way we eventually chose the consulting firm to help us with the whole certification process, we must also choose a company that is accredited by the IAF (International Accreditation Forum) to carry out certifications. In Argentina there are about 10 companies currently acredited. In our case we choose Det Norske Veritas (DNV) based on the recommendations of Kinetic, who has experience in certification for several of these 10 companies, and for being a company of good international reputation.
  • Month 0. Initial Visit: Documentary Audit. This is a documentation audit of the Quality Management System (QMS). In this case the auditor is introduced to the company, verifies that the company is eligible for certification, and proceeds to examine the documentation of the QMS. Commonly this audit is made by Quality Manager, the CEO and each person in charge of a process.
  • Month 1. Initial Certification Audit. It is a process audit, where the auditor verifies the knowledge of the members of the QMS and checks for the existence of evidence (usually records) for all the processes and activities. This audit involves every member of the organization. At the end of this audit, the Auditor recommends (or not) the issuing of Quality Certificate.
  • Months 11 and 23. Periodic audits. While we have not yet passed through these audits, they are about certificate maintenance. These audits verify the progress of the QMS, management for continuous improvement and overall compliance with the standards.
  • Month 33. Re-certification Audit. This is similar to the Initial Certification Audit, with the knowledge and the experience that means having been nearly three years under a QMS. At the end of this audit, if considered convenient, the certifier recommends (or not) to renew the original certificate.

Our experience over the first audits has been extremely positive. Ing. Alejandro Barisonzi, from DNV, was the person responsible for making both the Documentary Audit and the Initial Certification Audit, in our case. There were two very nice days, where in addition to introduce Machinalis to Mr. Barisonzi, and to go through the formal stages of the audit, we experienced a feedback and learning process that has been extremely important to us and to the functioning of our QMS.

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