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There are several reasons why your organisation should consider becoming ISO 9001 certified. From ensuring consistent quality across departments and teams to improving the overall management of products and services, this international standard certainly brings numerous benefits.

When discussing the ISO 9001 certification process with clients, we are continually asked three questions. Since you too are likely to have these questions on your mind, we will provide you with an answer today.

Does ISO 9001 really increase your documentation?

Since ISO 9001 is designed to encompass a broad range of industries and business sectors it includes the requirement to develop a number of different documents. These revolve mainly around standardised record-keeping and monitoring exercises.

However, even if at first glance it may look like an organisation would be inundated with documentation, the truth is that in most cases only a portion of these would be relevant and needed by any particular organisation.

What does ISO 9001 say about documentation?

Quoting directly from the ISO 9001 standard, a document needs to be “available and suitable for use, where and when it is needed” and “it is adequately protected”. In a few words, the standard outlines the principle of maintaining a quality management system for documentation.

The standard continues by outlining how documentation should be accessed and controlled in order not to breach confidentiality, improper use or loss of integrity. Even without the standard in place, having such controls is vital to a business’ operations and reputation, but ISO 9001 effectively simplifies and defines the process for you.

Can I go paperless and be ISO 9001 certified?

There is a misconception that ISO 9001 requires hard copies of documents and is, therefore, counter to the predominant philosophy of going paperless. 

In reality, the standard encourages and supports this trend in its guidelines.

Having documents in soft copy makes it far easier for them to be accessed when and where they are required. Moreover, access control is simpler through the distribution of specific rights to different users. Physical documents are far harder to protect, especially if they are left on a desk or misplaced.

Benefits of going paperless whilst maintaining ISO 9001 extend to distribution, storage, and legibility. Email or link sharing software can ensure that all target individuals receive the documentation they require. New versions of each document can be created each time someone makes an edit, and storing all these documents is never an issue when they’re in soft form. Moreover, reading and understanding comments made using software guarantees that the reader won’t face issues of illegible handwriting.

Get to know specific benefits of ISO 9001 for your business.

ISO 9001 offers different benefits to different organisations. Speak to us today to find out the advantages of obtaining this international certification and to understand the process involved.

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