ISO 9001 Principles: Should you invest in an ISO certification?

IS0 9001 principles

When you buy a product or a service, you always ensure that it gives you the best value for your money. You don’t want to spend on a quality that doesn’t justify the price. That’s where ISO 9001 comes in. ISO 9001 is one of ISO’s quality management system standards that oversees companies and the quality of the goods or services that they offer. This article will tackle the different aspects of ISO 9001, such as the ISO 9001 principles, the benefits of being ISO-certified, the ISO 9001 QMS, and many more.

ISO 9001 Principles

ISO 9001: Principles

Most businesses strive to reach ISO standards because these are the standards that customers look out for whenever they decide whether or not to invest in products or services. The standards are also a requirement to tender for certain types of work and get onto supplier frameworks such as the NHS and local authorities.

Businesses that have ISO certifications have higher chances of getting more contracts, increasing sales, winning more tenders, and retaining more customers. Since ISO is one of the most trusted entities in enforcing standards of high quality, it’s one of the most sought-after standards, globally.

One of the most renowned ISO standards is ISO 9001. It stands under seven principles:

  • Leadership
  • Customer Focus
  • Process Approach
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Engagement of People
  • Evidence-Based Decision Making
  • Relationship Management


ISO believes that for an organisation, entity, or business to provide quality products and services, they must first understand their company’s goals. As the head of the business, it is essential to lead your team towards your goals. Being a leader does not only involve instructing people on what to do. Leadership should also entail inspiring others to do better. If you lead your team the right way, you push them to be better and give their best in their tasks.

Some leaders achieve results in a more intense way. Using forceful methods to reach goals. This is only effective for a short period. Eventually, team members subjected to this kind of treatment project lower efficiency and productivity.

Good leadership has a domino effect. When the head of a group or company is a good leader, employees become good followers, too. They become motivated and excel more when they know they are valued. The quality of their outputs and the energy they project in their work depends on the kind of leader they have.

ISO 9001 highlights that an organisation or company can only provide high-quality goods or services under good leadership.


Customer Focus

Focusing on the customers’ needs is the foundation of good customer service. A business must first identify what the customers need and want. You can’t introduce or sell a product or a service to someone who doesn’t need it. Once you understand what your customers need, start from there.

Before someone establishes a company, they first conduct several feasibility studies, SWOT analysis, and so on, to ensure that they are offering the right product or service to the right customer.

Remember that businesses were built because of the demands of customers. They are what fuel businesses. Thus, it’s only fitting that the services and goods companies provide center on the customers’ necessities. Some businesses ask customers for feedback about the services or goods they provide. This is an excellent example of customer focus.

Both positive and negative feedback can be useful to an organisation and is an integral part of the ISO 9001 process. Businesses can use customers’ feedback to improve their goods or services. The customers’ feedback will tell them which fields or areas they need to improve and work on. Accepting criticisms is what leads good businesses to success. They know where they are lacking. They’ll know where they need to start building.

Process Approach

ISO 9001’s Plan Do Check Act (PDCA) is an excellent tool in enforcing a process-driven structure across an organisation. A good process helps sync every department in the workforce and the company’s overall performance. This leads to higher efficiency and better-quality outputs. It’s good practice to have a transparent process and guidelines so people in the company know where or how to get the help they need when they need them.

Compliant’s ISO implementation supports includes policies and procedures that enable companies to work towards improvements across the entire business and effectively introduce changes where applicable.


ISO 9001 emphasizes constant improvements. If a company wants to serve quality outputs, it must continuously improve. Identifying the areas or aspects you need to improve is essential for growth.

Compliant provides a ‘Procedure for the Management of Nonconformity’ and editable flowcharts to show where and how improvements can be made.

There is always room for improvement. Every business goes through this. There is no exception. Constantly improving, researching, and changing things leads to positive results.

Engagement of People

Every single person has a role to play in an organisation. From the office cleaners, all the way up to the company CEO, everyone’s functions are essential to the company’s success as a whole. ISO 9001 understands this. Thus, people’s engagement is a part of the principles they uphold. Companies who seek success must ensure that all team members understand their role in contributing to ISO 9001. 

A workplace is not conducive without office cleaners. A team leader is nothing without a team. A CEO is powerless without their people. An organisation will not function correctly without all members. The people in the company are what drive the workforce to quality. They help businesses reach their objectives. Everyone has a purpose.

Evidence-Based Decision Making

Leaders should base their decisions on facts and be backed by shreds of evidence. Remember that the decisions leaders make do not only impact them personally. They affect the entire organisation. A wrong decision could lead to people losing their jobs. It is essential to always look for evidence, proof, or data to support a decision.

Sound decision-making helps the company thrive and gain an advantage against competitors. Compliant’s support includes an ‘Assessment Evidence’ document, a ‘Gap Assessment Tool’ and ‘Competence Development’ procedure and report documents. All of these documents will be bespoke for your company if you decide to progress with Compliant.

Relationship Management

The company’s relationship with suppliers plays a vital role in gaining an advantage against key competitors. However, building a good relationship between suppliers and consumers does not grow overnight. The process requires constant transparency between each other to build up trust.

Maintaining a healthy relationship between suppliers gives businesses a competitive advantage in short-term financial gains, built on beneficial mutual strategies.

As part of ISO 9001 all suppliers must be listed and a rating system for the quality of the services provided recorded.

ISO certification

What is a Quality Management System?

To further understand what ISO 9001 truly is, this article will also cover the quality management system. To put things simply, a quality management system is a set of business processes, techniques, policies, and methods that check a company’s competencies in delivering high-standard services or goods.

To better understand what ISO 9001 is check out our latest video from our Director, Mark Henderson here.

Quality is the number one goal that companies should reach to fully satisfy customers’ demands, thus increasing the company’s profitability. A lot of benefits come with a sound management system. For companies who managed to effectively implement ISO 9001 benefits have included:

  • Increase in the productivity of tangible goods
  • Increased effectivity in the use of office resources
  • Company growth and expansion
  • Heightened employee and company morale
  • Flexibility, more opportunities
  • Comprehensive systems capable of tracking defects, gaps, and more
  • Customer retention

ISO’s quality management system is one of the best quality management systems. ISO 9001:2015, the most prominent quality management system ensures  that only the best reaches the market.

Organisations use ISO 9001 to formulate their own quality management system (QMS), creating satisfied customers, more tangible gains, and continually improving the process.

ISO 9001: Is it worth the investment?

Whether it’s a large company or a startup, becoming ISO 9001-certified can drive business success. An ISO certification is a company’s ticket to some of many gains, including:

  • Increase revenue – if you manage to become certified, your certification means more contracts, attracts more customers, wins more tenders, and improves customer retention through increased customer satisfaction. Your ISO certification is your ticket to success.
  • Improve customer satisfaction – by understanding what customers need, as well as their wants, you are not just leveraging profits but also ensuring that they will seek your product or service again and again. An ISO-certified business follows the highest quality management system, ensuring the best possible outcomes for customers.
  • Improve company’s credibility – companies and other entities trust the International Organisation Standardisation. Therefore anyone with an ISO certification is considered to be of a high standard. Your certification attracts more people and positively impacts your company’s credibility. You passed the ISO standard, which means your company is noteworthy. Organisations often look at this aspect when assessing whether to build relationships with new companies.
  • Increased efficiency – getting an ISO certification can actually reduce operation costs. Following the best practices in the industry can increase operational effectiveness and reduce error, lower expenses, and yield better results.
  • Improved decision-making – The ISO 9001 certification process helps companies or organisations detect a fault, gaps, or errors in management. If you get an ISO certification, you can immediately identify which parts or places your company is lacking, which portions you need to improve, and what methods are best to address these issues.
  • Higher and better people engagement – establishing solid communication in the workforce ensures that everyone is on the same page. A good leader should not only lead the team but should also listen. One of the main principles of ISO 9001 is people engagement. No one should be left out, and everyone should be included. Successful companies became what they are now because they give emphasis to their people’s roles and contributions in the workplace.
  • Superior process integration – good integration of a business process is essential to the results of a business’s productivity. A process integration solution helps companies sync their systems and the quality of their work across every department or team. Lack of business process integration could lead to lapses and poor company productivity.
  • Better supplier relationship – being ISO-certified opens opportunities to better supplier relationships. Building healthy relationships involves a lengthy process built on mutual trust and agreements. ISO-certified companies stand better chances at finding magnanimous suppliers.

ISO 9001: How to pass the ISO certification process?

Being ISO-certified is a very tedious process. It involves planning, exhausting numerous resources, and a whole lot of determination if you want to pass the entire certification process.

Here are some of the ways to help you get certified:

  1. The best way to get past the certification process is to implement ISO’s quality management system. All of the principles of ISO can help you pass the certification process. It’s essential to enforce a strong and effective quality management system that won’t give your company away during the certification process. Compliant is supporting businesses internationally in becoming certified by providing the framework, audit support and ongoing guidance to ensure success.
  2. Ensure that people who need access to necessary documents get hold of them. During the certification process, inspectors can ask random members of your company questions regarding your business process, the core values, and many more. Though it’s not dreadful if someone can’t answer the inspector, it isn’t ideal. This could leave an impression that your company doesn’t have strong team engagement.
  3. Review your quality management system. In case you have developed your own quality management system, review whether the system is efficient in terms of compliance and effectiveness. If necessary, take preventive actions. Do not wait for the auditors to reach you before you take measures required to correct a fault in the system. Make audits or watch interviews if necessary. Identify the strengths, as well as the weaknesses of your system, and work from there.
  4. Do not hesitate to spend. Being ISO-certified can be costly. Auditors will not only be checking the physical aspects of your company, but they will also be evaluating the skills and capabilities of your team. If you’re not prepared to invest money, you can’t expect a positive outcome.
  5. Choose a reliable implementation partner. There are many certification bodies to choose from for ISO certification. So why would you choose Compliant? Compliant is the certification body of choice, helping businesses across the UK to achieve their UKAS accredited ISO certifications, within timescales and to budget. We successfully deliver ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 22301ISO 27001 and  and can help businesses to access funding for their certifications. We offer flexible payment plans and can pass cost savings from certifications bodies directly onto our customers.

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