What Is The Difference Between ISO Registered & ISO Compliant?

Customers often get confused trying to understand the difference between a company that is ISO registered and one that is ISO compliant. But what is the difference for an investor or client between these organizations? The ISO 9001 registered company has demonstrated a level of quality above that of being compliant.

The International Standards Organization was originally a British Standards Institute (BSI) that established the UK standard in 1971. At that time it would be known as BS 9000 and was adopted by the electronics industry. In the 1980s the International Organization for Standardization implemented these standards on an international scale. The first ISO 9000 standard was established in 1987. 

Today the standard being implemented by the ISO is 2015. More than one million organizations are either registered or compliant with these standards. If any organization was authorized with the previous version of the standard, that is the ISO 9001:2008, it expired in September 2018. All of these organizations would like to work to achieve the latest 2015 certification before they lose accreditation. 

ISO Registered Organization

An ISO registered organization implements the Quality Management System prerequisites set by the international standards organization. These standards include specific requirements in the fields of trade within a business for the sectors of:

  • Appliances
  • Public
  • Premises
  • Services
  • Training

A company will be audited by a third-party after they have implemented the requirements for the organization. It usually takes a business anywhere between three to six months to get completely certified. The time may be more or less depending on the overall size of the organization. The first step is the Phase 1 Audit. 

In the phase 1 audit, the auditor validates all of the company’s written records. They should meet the requirements set out by the quality management system. If anything does not go according to plan the company must make the necessary changes to meet the standard. Phase 1 is sometimes also known as the documentation review. 

Another part of the certification process is ensuring that your staff is aware of the requirements for documentation. Everything needs to be documented at all times. Phase 2 is when the external audits begin. The audit deals with all of the features of the quality management system. 

A registrar will ask for all of the documents for at least three months to make sure that the system is being implemented. A phase 2 audit will always be on-site and it will include all the different branch locations of an organization. Any problems with the standards are referred to as major non-conformance. All major non-conformance needs to be addressed before any certification can be issued. 

The last part of the audit is the surveillance audit. A surveillance audit is held in much the same manner as a phase 2 audit but it will focus on smaller more specific areas of the business. For example, making sure that all the non-conformance issues have been dealt with properly. Once all of these audits are complete the business is ISO registered

ISO Compliant Organization

An ISO-compliant organization is one that has gone through the phase of a documentation check. There are no external audits performed on an ISO-compliant organization. A business is granted ISO-compliant status if the organization maintains the quality management system standards in their documentation.

Adam Hansen