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ISO 9001 certification is THE must-have standard, with over 1.2 million* active certificates worldwide by the end of 2022. This figure continues to grow every year, but certification raises questions, particularly in France:

Is it still relevant and topical?

And above all, is it useful?

Let’s find out!

First of all, ISO 9001 certification is, in most sectors, a voluntary process. It can be implemented in all types and sizes of organizations (companies, associations, cooperatives, start-ups, etc.) and all sectors.

ISO 9001 provides a general framework for setting up a quality management system.

It centralizes requirements, the main aim of which is to satisfy customer requirements. It also enables the deployment of control and improvement systems for products and services.

The traditional arguments put forward for implementing a Quality approach based on ISO 9001 include competitive advantage, opportunities for improvement, customer confidence, and satisfaction.

In Addition to these Advantages, the Quality Approach offers several other Benefits:

• It’s a real company project, bringing people together and mobilizing them: all employees are united around the same project and are called upon to participate.

• This approach is also a real opportunity to identify the organization’s performance strategy, by identifying objectives and defining appropriate measurement indicators in line with the company’s maturity.

• Anticipation must be at the heart of the organization. By approaching requirements as tools rather than constraints, the use of risk and opportunity assessment and feedback becomes essential. Not only does this make it possible to anticipate future events, but it also guarantees the company’s long-term future.

Our Advice on how to ensure that your Approach is Effective over the long term is as follows:

• The benefits of certification have to be earned! Investment by management and all the players in the company is essential.

• When setting up the system, using the company’s language and thinking in terms of ‘users’ will help them to make the system their own.

• Adopting a participative approach is the ideal way to benefit from the experience of all employees by appointing experts according to the company’s activities.

• The approach requires common sense! Taking the time to mature your thoughts and to take into account the opinions and context in place is essential if you are to put in place a sustainable approach.

• Regularly questioning the system is essential for performance, taking into account the internal and external contexts as well as the expectations of interested parties.

• Don’t hesitate to enlist the help of a specialist consultancy, especially at the start of the process. Depending on the context, it will help you to better understand and grasp the requirements of the standard concerning your organization and your sector.

To sum up, ISO 9001 certification is a genuine strategic tool that represents a real step towards the long-term future of a company, provided that it is seen as a lever for improvement and performance. The ISO 9001 standard, too, evolves in line with the international context and is periodically revised to keep pace with the issues that concern us all.

So, without going down the route of certification, some organizations decide to implement and apply the principles of ISO 9001. These principles form the central basis of many ISO standards: 14001, 45001, EN 9100, ISO 15189, etc.

So, is this a certification process or simply a process for setting up a Quality / QHSE system?

This requires courage and boldness!

A business project of this kind can be greatly facilitated by the implementation of a structured digital tool.

Quality software with integrated Electronic Document Management ensures compliance with standards and the principle of continuous improvement.

It also ensures traceability, operational efficiency, and communication: a fun and collaborative way of involving everyone in the organization in building and improving the system.