ISO Certification

ISO Certification

OSS Middle East is the one of best ISO certification and management consulting organizations World wide. We offer wide range of ISO certification services to organizations across multiple industry verticals in the Middle East and Africa as IT Industries, Food industries, Hospitalities, Banking and Health Care etc. We specialize in International ISO standards. We offer our ISO Certification Consulting services all over the world.

What is the ISO?

ISO Certification

The ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is an independent, non-governmental, international organization that develops standards to ensure the quality, safety, and efficiency of products, services, and systems. As technology continues to rapidly develop, new standards are drafted and implemented by people at all levels within the global industry going through standardization. 

The organization’s origins date back to 1946 when 65 delegates from 25 countries met in London to discuss the post-war future of International Standardization. In 1947, ISO officially came into existence with 67 technical committees, or groups of experts focusing on a specific subject. Over the last 75 years, the ISO has further evolved to include 165 member countries, nearly 800 technical committees and subcommittees, and more than 23,000 international standards. 

What Does “ISO Certified” Mean?

To be certified by the ISO means that you have been audited by an independent 3rd party, and that you have demonstrated your business conforms to the requirements of the latest quality process standards set by the International Standards Organization. This certification signifies that your processes work efficiently and effectively, and are consistent with the international best practices (aka The Standard).  

This is beneficial for your company both internally and externally. Internally, because you are likely to build and ship better quality products that delight your customers and will arrive on-time.  And externally, because you can now market that fact to the outside business community, which would translate into higher sales levels with a better set of customers. Companies that have solid processes build high-quality products that arrive when needed, and those companies develop great reputations and followings.

There are numerous ISO certifications that are industry-specific, ranging from energy management and social responsibility to risk management and occupational health and safety. In addition to having its own specific criteria and set of standards, each ISO certification is classified numerically. For example, the ISO certification for quality management systems is ISO 9001:2015; which means that the standard number is 9001 and it was released in 2015.

What are the five most common ISO standards?

ISO have thousands of international standards, across dozens of industries. However, some of their standards transcend these boundaries. Let’s take a look at five of the most common standards.

ISO 9001 Quality Management

This is the cornerstone standard that organisations should have, with the most recent version being ISO 9001:2015. While there are a few standards within the ISO 9000 family (which covers quality management), the ISO 9001 is the only standard which you can be certified in.

There are several industry specific cases based on this standard (e.g., Aerospace which uses AS9100D). The business processes and procedures will reside in a system of some form, often referred to as a Quality Management System (QMS), but in principle the standard exists to:

  • Ensure the products and services provided are as defined in requirements.
  • Have a mechanism in place that monitors the effectiveness of the quality management system and its outputs, along with processes and procedures to prevent the escape of non-conforming products and services.
  • Ensure that roles and responsibilities for the management system and its activities which it contains are clearly defined and that stakeholders and top management are accountable for what is produced.
  • Embed a programme of continual improvement.

ISO 14001 Environmental Management

This standard is designed to help organisations fulfil their obligations under the Environmental obligations in the UK, as per the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This standard integrates well with ISO 9001 and other quality management standards. Rather than having an Environmental Management System (EMS), some organisations integrate it with their Quality Management System (QMS) and refer to it as an Integrated Management System (IMS). The primary purpose of this standard is to:

  • Meet legal obligations
  • Improve resource efficiency
  • Reduce waste
  • Reduce environmental impact
  • Reduce risk
  • Reduce costs.
ISO 45001 Health and Safety

Released in 2018, ISO 45001 is based on OHSAS 18001. Containing the basic elements of ISO 9001. Its primary function is to:

  • Reduce occupational injuries and diseases
  • Promote and protect physical and mental health

ISO 27001 Information Security

In both the modern workplace and individuals’ personal lives, we place a lot of our information in paper and electronic systems. ISO 27001 is designed for information security management, and helps protect:

  • Confidentiality – by allowing only authorised persons to access relevant information and not everything an organisation has on file.
  • Information Integrity – ensuring only trained and authorised individuals can change records.
  • Availability – information to be available to authorised persons on demand.

ISO 27001 also focuses more than ISO 9001 on risk and risk-based thinking.

ISO 44001 Collaborative working

In the past a single organization would often design, build, and deliver a complete project. Companies are now starting to specialize and are becoming global entities. This means many projects to use two or more entities to deliver the output. ISO 44001 is a mechanism to setup, manage and conclude agreed working practices. Based around the core clauses of ISO 9001’s quality management principles, ISO 44001 focuses around:

  • Planning, identifying the benefits of other parties and developing a business case
  • Developing a high-quality model
  • Developing value
  • Awareness and communication
  • Managing and monitoring the relationship
  • Exit strategy

What does working with an organization that has an ISO Standard mean?

Organizations with an ISO certification work to a prescribed set of requirements. They will have processes, procedures and policies in place to create an environment that produces a consistent set of outputs. They also have mechanisms in place to deal with issues where those outputs are not expected.

It is worth noting, however, that ISO is a framework advising on what an organisation should have in place, but it does not advise on how to achieve that outcome.

An organisation that is ISO 9001 certified, for instance, will have shown compliance to the standard and have been independently audited. Certification will only have been awarded after all necessary criteria have been met.

This gives companies confidence when purchasing products or services from an organisation with one of these certifications. It shows a particular standard of decision making, continuous improvement, and quality/ This allows for fair comparisons between suppliers that have the same accreditation.

Organisations may feel they have an advantage when competing for work over other suppliers that are not certified. One of the major benefits of ISO is the confidence in their products and services that certification demonstrates.

Is having an ISO certification mandatory?

No. There is no legal requirement to have an ISO certification. That said, in some industries, customers may not work with a supplier that does not hold a certification. For instance, if you supply medical devices, you may be expect to hold ISO 13485. This is because customers will have no frame of reference to be able to trust the outputs the supplier produces.

ISO sounds great, can I just buy a certification?

This is a question that has caused great debate and has some polarised viewpoints. There are providers out there that will offer software packages that claim to give you everything you need in a box and a certification in the fastest time possible.

Beware of companies that are awarding ISO certifications. UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) are the only recognised awarding body in the UK. Certification bodies must be registered with UKAS. If they do not show the UK tick mark in their logo, they are not recognised.

Having an ISO certification should not be seen as a tick in the box or a certification on a wall. Instead, consider it part of a process approach – it should be seen as a tool to help your organisation meet customer expectations, and become a vehicle for growth.

The best organizations that have a certification are great companies first, and almost as a side note have certification second. They will already have had quality assurance, document control, or management system standards in place. The certification is simply validating that you have good controls and understand how your organization works. To gain a certification, not only do you need to have your processes, procedures and policies defined, but they need to be relevant to your organization and the way you work.

ISO Checklist

Depending on the ISO standard you are going to apply, the detailed questions will vary, but at a high level, all standards will require the following questions to be answered. This simple 10 point checklist will help establish where you are on the journey.

  1. Do you currently have a Management System and a defined scope?
  2. Have you identified the processes, procedures and policies required?
  3. Have you identified the criteria, methods, responsibilities, and key performance indicators for the management system?
  4. Have top management been engaged and accountable for the Management system?
  5. Have risks and opportunities been identified, and actions put in place?
  6. Have suitable resources been allocated to the Management System project and ongoing maintenance?
  7. Are there provisions to monitor activities such as an internal audit programme?
  8. Are there mechanisms in place to ensure the product or services are what is required, designed, and delivered?
  9. Do you measure customer satisfaction?
  10. Do you have a programme of process improvements?

Depending on the answers to these questions will give you an indication as to how far along your ISO journey you may have already progressed.


The best way to learn about new, revised, or updated ISO standards is from ISO themselves. As the organization that sets the standards, they would be the best source.

Additionally, there are outlets that offer summaries and explanations of ISO updates to help individuals and businesses understand them. For instance, the website 9001SIMPLIFIED detailed what changed when ISO 9001 changed from 2008 to 2015. the 2015 update has:

  • More clauses
  • A different structure (High Level Structure)
  • Different terminology
  • A process approach
  • More focus on input and output
  • Risk-based thinking at its core
  • A focus on the context of the organization
  • Leadership and commitment updates
  • Better integration with other ISO standards 

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