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How an ISO (Management Systems) implementation process works

There are several reasons to start an ISO implementation process and the demand for this differential has grown more and more. However, it is common that many companies face difficulties when seeking certification, especially when the organization is in its first process.

Obviously, the first step is to acquire a standard and study about it. Train a professional so that they can lead the implementation and delegate activities as necessary. But after that, what are the next steps?

In this article, we’ll understand some basic steps in this process and better understand how it happens. After this article, you’ll know what your next step is and if your ISO implementation process is on the right track!


Standard and process mapping

The first step, then, is to map the processes and compare them with the standard that will be implemented. At this point, it will be possible to understand which good practices of the standard are already in place in your company and which ones are not.

Not everything that the standard brings may be new for your company and, sometimes, some processes are already present in your daily life. In these cases, it may only be necessary to make a little adjustment or even create a way to document what is already done.

So, first, it is interesting to have in hand the current situation of your management system. Here, process mapping can help a lot to understand what will need to be created to meet the standard and improve the company’s management.


Requirement-by-requirement implementation

After understanding the current situation, it is easier to create action plans to adapt the management system. For example, if you are implementing ISO 9001 and do not identify a non-compliance management process in your company, you can create a project focused on developing it within the company.

Each standard has its own requirements, so the changes needed will depend on which management system you are implementing (9001, 37001, 45001, etc). Anyway, keep in mind that all requirements are important and will have to be part of the routine of your processes, in a way, of the company as a whole.

In addition, care must be taken so that the implementation is not just bureaucratic, that is, so that it really improves the company and brings results. Creating actions or activities just to conform to norms is a real shot in the foot, which will only slow things down and harm the end results. This way, some items will be simpler, while others may take some time to implement correctly.


Hire consulting or do everything internally?

This is a very private decision that needs to consider the context of the company and the implementation itself. For example, if the internal team already has knowledge and experience in the implemented management system, it is easier, and everything can be done without outside help.

If the team does not have these requirements, it is still possible to opt for a 100% in-house implementation, however the process may be longer, with some errors along the way. After all, people’s own learning curve takes some time.

In both cases, with a consultancy, it is easier and faster to implement, as you will have the help of a specialized company. This company has already gone through several contexts and will be able to show you the best paths, as well as help to solve problems. If certification is an urgent need for the company, for example, a consultancy is a great option!


How long does an ISO implementation process take?

This is another question whose answer is closely related to the context of the company. It is necessary to take into account the complexity of the processes, the size of the company, branch of activities, use or not of a consultancy and, mainly, the focus that the company will give to the process.

In general, a standard implementation process takes between 6 and 12 months. However, due to the particularities of each company, we have had companies that were certified in 3, 4, 6 and even 18 months.


Key requirements in various Management Systems

Each standard contains a set of specific requirements that will act directly in the standard’s management area. However, I find it interesting to point out that there are 2 requirements that work the same in almost any standard.

The first one is the need for internal audits. They are the ones who will keep the system running and constantly improving. Thus, you will need to audit your company internally, thinking about the requirements of the audited standard.

The second is the “Management System Review”. Thus, this activity will be a kind of system driver, bringing to light important decisions.


Certification and maintenance

Finally, the company will undergo an external audit in order to verify if the requirements were correctly worked out. In addition, there are post-audit actions for system maintenance. But those are subjects for another article.

If you are going to be sure, count on our help. We are a certifying body operating worldwide, and we can help you to get the best results for your company!

QMS Certification

QMS Certification

QMS is an accredited third party certification body, it is currently present in 33 countries and focuses on the certification of management systems. QMS America is managed by the US office and has consistently grown in market recognition by technical level, customer satisfaction and competitive pricing.

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