Full Guide on How to be ISO Certified (ISO Certifications & standards)

With over one million ISO certified companies, ISO certifications have enabled organizations to dramatically cut costs and mitigate risks.

As of last year, ISO (International Organization for Standardization) reached a total of 27,574 international standards that are actively used across 170 countries.

Wondering what an ISO certification is? Allow me to break it down for you in detail.

Meanwhile, the table of content is right below.

What Is ISO Certifications?

ISO certification simply implies that an organization’s management system, manufacturing process, provision of services, or documentation procedure meets the standards and requirements for quality assurance as approved by an accredited third-party body.

These international standards are developed and published by ISO, an independent, non-governmental, international organization. Standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 are developed to ensure the quality, safety, and efficiency of products, services, and systems. However, ISO does not certify or issue certificates.

Certification is undertaken by certification bodies which we will look at later.

What Does It Mean To Be ISO Certified?

An ISO-certified organization is one that has met the requirements designated under ISO 9001 to follow an appropriate quality management system and identifying areas for improvement within the system.

ISO certification is essential for businesses across several industries in order for an entity to meet key stakeholders’ expectations and global standards.

It increases one’s chances of accessing financial support from credit institutions as well as potential investors.

Equally, ISO standards help businesses produce goods and provide services that are relevant by meeting new quality, consistency, and safety standards.

In certain sectors such as the automotive industry, ISO certification is a requirement for manufacturing businesses to sell their products and/or services.

Benefits of ISO Certifications

ISO certification accrues several benefits to organizations that possess them.

First and foremost, organizations are able to identify who is affected by their operations and what they expect which enables them to clearly define objectives and new business opportunities.

By putting customers first, organizations can make sure they consistently meet customer needs and enhance customer satisfaction. This can improve customer retention rates and the acquisition of new clients.

Secondly, risks associated with an organization are identified and addressed promptly. Organizations work in a more efficient manner as all their processes are aligned and understood by all stakeholders. This increases productivity and efficiency, bringing internal costs down.

Last but not least, organizations also meet necessary statutory and regulatory requirements at an international level.

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Who needs ISO certifications?

Well, while ISO certification is not mandatory for a company to operate, organizations in certain industries may be required by law or contractually. These industries are construction, engineering, oil & gas, manufacturing, health, hotels, and hospitality.

ISO standards are essential because they improve the performance of organizations.

ISO 9001 described below is the only standard in the 9000 series that requires certification.

ISO Standards

More often than not, ISO standards are categorized into 3 groups: environmental management, safety and healthcare, and transport. Let us look at each category individually;

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1. Environmental Management

ISO 14001:2004: This ISO standard sets the framework for environmental management systems (EMS) which are a set of rules and methods developed to guarantee consistency, expand ecological awareness and examine approaches to lessen its expenses.

ISO 14004:2004: This standard provides detailed data for the execution and maintenance of EMS in any industry. It aims to consistently enhance the arrangement in light of its execution.

2. Safety and Healthcare

ISO 22000: This standard is the basis of improvement for food security and handling. It focuses on the global food chain and aims to diminish safety and hazard issues.

IWA 1:2005: This ISO standard not only sets rules to associations in the health sector so as to respond to man-made and natural calamities but also regulates them.

ISO 9001:2000: This standard regulates quality management in the medical device industry. It gives more particular recommendations and rules which are required for the improvement, creation, and establishment of these devices.

3. Transportation

ISO/TS 16949: This ISO standard audits all territories of the supply network of the automotive industry and concentrates on courses for the suppliers in order to lessen their expenses and enhance proficiency. It focuses on ranges of monitoring, training, investigation, and upgrades inside the industry.

ISO/PAS 30003:2008: This standard focuses on particular concerns in transportation and marine technology and addresses industry-particular concerns. For example, hazardous materials. It also concentrates on regions, for example, ship recycling management & other material taking care of that can have potential environmental impacts.

However, in other instances, ISO standards are also categorized in families;

4. ISO 31000 Family

The ISO 31000 group of standards manages risk management. As per the ISO list, ISO 31000:2009: It provides “standards and general regulations on risk management.”

ISO 31000: This is intended to be connected to a choice managing risk in business technique, products, operation, and project advancement or resource administration. This standard is not utilized for accreditation but rather gives an essential approach to the best way in order to settle on choices where risk is included. The standard helps the associations to answer questions identifying with likelihood and the seriousness of results.

ISO 31010:2009: It is a risk administration standard that gives risk appraisal systems. This standard gives an orderly way to deal with the recognized risk elements.

5. ISO 14000 Family

ISO 14000 standards manage Environmental Management Systems. These standards thus emphasize the promise in order to abide by the international environmental laws, to keep enhancing in preventing pollution.

The objective of the standard as indicated by the ISO is to recognize and control the ecological effect of its exercises, enhance execution and build up a methodical way in order to deal with setting and meeting goals. This standard gives universal accreditation that an organization is environmental integrity.

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6. ISO 9000 Family

ISO 9000 manages Quality Management. This standard manages what a business or an association does to meet the client’s needs, fulfill administrative necessities, formulate consumer loyalty and consistently enhance execution.

Starting in 2010, there are 25 records in the 9000 family- a – reference is recorded in assets in the event that you need to scrap it after inspecting- – that are intended to give a premise to enhancing everything from distribution center stock reviews, mechanical production system methodology, sending and getting and client benefit.

The rules give a global standard, accreditation, and regular phrasing whereby organizations around the globe can work with each other.

Guide on Getting ISO Certified

How does one get an ISO certification for an organization? Well, here’s how in a 3 step guide on getting an ISO certification for your organization;

  1. Build and implement a quality management system (QMS) according to the most recent ISO 9001 standard.
  2. Have an audit performed on the QMS by a Certified Body (CB or Registrar) to assess the performance against the latest ISO 9001 standard.
  3. After a successful audit, your organisation will receive the certificate and will need to be recertified after three years (and every subsequent three years) to make sure you’re still up to standard and new changes in the standard.
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The guideline only applies to organizations but not individuals. For individuals, ISO 9001 is not a personal standard, and as such individuals cannot “get certified”.

They can, however, become a Certified Body (CB or Registrar) after a 5-day training course in order to perform certification audits for organizations.

Where Do I Get Certification?

By now, you must be asking yourself what certification your organization needs and how to implement the standards. Here’s a list of 5 certification bodies from different continents to help you undertake the process;

#1. GlenView Group

GlenView Group, Inc was found on one idea alone, and that idea is that they can provide a one-stop solution for companies seeking to implement or improve their business management system(s).

The GlenView Group has created interactive consulting strategies and training programs to fit all clients’ needs.

They specialize in customizing ISO consulting services and training programs for each client, regardless of language, literacy, or technical background.

GlenView Group provides a straightforward approach in assisting companies to create processes and procedures to evaluate the effectiveness, supplier performance, and environmental health and safety of the organization.

GlenView Group provides ISO training for managers, internal auditors, and all individuals seeking to further their knowledge of international business management practices including ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001 / OHSAS 18001, and many others.

#2. Kayzed Consultants

Kayzed Consultants offers comprehensive ISO consulting training and certification services throughout UAE, obverting all the Middle East.

They are acknowledged for providing ISO consulting services with a global experience of more than 10 countries including – Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, and African countries, European Countries, Afghanistan, Iran, and India.

It provides specialist advice to clients so as to meet their goals related to certification and management of their systems.

KAYZED Consultants prides in their expertise of assisting the businesses on how to improve their profitability by focusing on improving customer outcomes and systems.

They assist and educate clients on systems improvement so that organizations can continually improve. In the current economic scenario, it has become a must for all organizations to have systems implement effectively in order to reduce costs, improve profits and revenue.

#3. CertPro

CertPro has delivered ISO and other related services to USA clients over the last few years. Having done multiple projects across different industries and companies, the expertise in delivering quality projects has driven them to lead the needs of ISO certification in the USA.

ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001, ISO 22000, HACCP, and ISO 50000, are just a few of their successful implementations and certifications in the USA over the years.

As a regionally-based ISO consultant in the USA, they ensure you the benefits of onsite and online consulting for better delivery and services through the best possible cost-effective approaches that fit your requirements.

CertPro has experience in working with organizations of small-medium-large scale industries across various ISO standards.

#4. ISO Consultancy

As a boutique ISO Quality Management Systems Consultancy firm based in London, they assist and support clients throughout their whole certification process with a private consultant specializing in the required field.

Their consultants have vast experience in ISO Certification processes and have helped many clients get their certificates successfully through dedicated consulting services and support at each stage of ISO Certification. While simplifying processes, they provide as much support as you require with a bespoke support program for clients’ needs.

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#5. DEKRA Certification South Africa

DEKRA Certification South Africa is an Accredited Certification Body under the German accreditation body DAkkS.

As a third-party accredited certification body (CB), their knowledgeable, independent and experienced ISO management system auditors verify whether the client complies with the requirements of the various ISO standards.

They focus on certifying companies to ISO 9001:2015 (quality Management Systems), ISO 14001:2015 (Environmental Management Systems), ISO 45001:2018 (Occupational Health and Safety Systems), and HACCP (Food Management Systems).

ISO’s Committee on Conformity Assessment (CASCO) has produced a number of standards related to the certification process, which are used by certification bodies. Read more about CASCO Standards.

What next after ISO certification?

After successful ISO certification, your chosen certification body will conduct an audit once a year for the first three years to assure that systems are working as designed and in compliance with ISO standards.

At the end of the three years, you will be required to go through a recertification audit to reassess your growth and past performance.

A new certificate will be awarded and the recertification process will be repeated subsequently every 3 years.

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FAQs on What is ISO Certifications

How do I find out about new ISO standards?

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.

What are the ISO 9000 standards?

ISO 9000 is a family of three standards ISO 9000:2005 – Fundamentals and vocabulary, ISO 9001:2015 – Requirements, ISO 9004:2000 – Guidelines for performance improvement.

What are the training timelines for ISO standards?

The training timeline will depend on numerous factors including the understanding of the requirements, the preparedness of an organization, and the size and complexity of the organization. Still, most can expect to receive their ISO 9001:2015 certification in three to six months.

Can individuals become ISO certified?

No, individuals cannot become ISO certified. Only businesses and organizations can. It is also worth noting that ISO doesn’t provide the certification. Instead, certification is made possible through third-party organizations. 

Why are ISO certifications not free?

ISO standards cost money to develop, publish and distribute. Users are requested to pay for the standards they use to sustain the development process.


ISO certification is not merely a formality for organizations but rather an essential guideline for the implementation of internationally approved practices that work towards the benefit of all stakeholders involved.

ISO certification does not only apply to large businesses but to small-medium enterprises as well.

Adherence to the standards reflects greatly on your business’ commitment towards competence and accountability.

At a national level, governments and national authorities rely on ISO standards to derive proper regulations and laws as well as apply them in a manner that seeks to represent the greater good of its people.

ISO standards are a point of reference and understanding as different organizations and stakeholders interact with each other.

The Development of ISO standards is continuous and therefore, it is important for you to ensure your organization abides by the most recent standards and meets the requirements respective to your field. 

Leave a comment on your experience with ISO standards and certifications, we’d like to hear them.



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