This type of certificate constitutes a control, which seeks that every company responds to a minimum of established requirements in order to confirm that its process complies with said parameters.
The Quality certificate It recognizes the company’s level of commitment in front of other possible partners and clients.
This is the first question that always arises when you are going to carry out a procedure; Although quality certificates are a concept with which we are usually familiar, it is worth clarifying.
The first thing that must exist for a quality certification to be possible is a standard; This regulation will specify a series of characteristics or parameters that the product must comply with in order to obtain the certificate and be considered a standardized and safe product.
The quality certification is the document that will certify that our product complies with the standard we were talking about. To obtain it, it is necessary for a group of qualified auditors who must also belong to an accredited certification body; The experts will evaluate our product and, under the support of the entity that accredits them, will issue a report in which they specify that the product complies with all the characteristics typified in the regulations.
What types of quality certificates are there?
- ISO certificates (product quality management)
The ISOs are without a doubt the most well-known quality certification; ISO includes an important range of certifications, which is why, depending on the type, they are assigned a code and the one corresponding to quality management is: ISO 9001.
They are not assigned to a specific product but to entire companies; the company that obtains it must adapt its processes continuously, obeying a continuous evolution that marks the regulations. All its products will be subject to constant evaluation to ensure that they have the quality required by the regulations.
- ISO environmental management certificates
They belong to the elite made up of the ISOs but in this case their code is ISO 14001. As its name indicates, it is a certificate that guarantees that the company in question implements environmental management with all property.
This certificate is born from the awareness that little by little has been created about the effect of our activities on the planet.
Trying to stop the deterioration of the planet has become a kind of revolution and it is something that is causing more and more interest among consumers. Due to this situation, more and more companies are opting for this certification; which shows them as a company committed to respecting and caring for the environment by reducing its CO2 emissions and reducing environmental impact. About 20 companies have this certification, which, curiously, is only valid for three years.
- The ISO 5001 certification is very little known but, in our view, it is as important as the previous one. This standard evaluates the energy efficiency of companies in their production line.
- Certification of people:
It is also an ISO certification; but in this case it does not endorse the company’s processes but its staff. ISO 17024 guarantees the quality of the personnel dedicated to technical service, auditing (three years) and quality management (5 years).
In this case, the professionalism and experience of the staff is certified. If you pay attention, it is the same staff that would ensure that the standards of other certifications are met.
- Seal of quality on the Internet «IQ»:
With this certification something similar to the environmental one happens; We are in the internet age and it is something that worries parents above all. From this growing concern, multiple regulations and measures on the correct use of the Internet were born.
The result of this is the IQ certification, as a seal of quality that ensures that the website is, in short, suitable for all audiences. And it is only valid for 1 year.
- Tourist quality «Q»
This certification is governed by all the rules imposed by the Institute for Spanish Tourist Quality or ICTE according to its acronym. The ICTE grants this quality certification for a minimum period of 9 months and a maximum of 12 months; to resorts that meet their quality standards.
In this case it is not a common and current norm that dictates the guideline; it is a Royal Decree 1432/2003 to be exact. Its purpose is to guarantee that the project in question is really innovative in the technological field; but in addition to that it does not expire and grants many tax advantages.
As we mentioned before, ISO certificates are the most recognized; and are governed by rules that, in addition to being strict, are updated with some frequency. In this way they ensure that the companies that own it comply with certain security measures and that in addition to all their systems working as they should, all their products have a guaranteed quality.
There are several ISO certifications, but the best known are: ISO 27001, ISO 22301, ISO 39001 and ISO 45001. The average validity of these certificates is 3 years; In addition, who has the power to grant them is the National Accreditation Entity or ENAC, for its acronym.
Quality certifications are not easy to obtain; It is a process that requires time and patience on the part of companies. Many evaluations are made and improvements are suggested that need time to be implemented correctly. But in addition to these adjustments, a series of requirements are also needed to be eligible for certification. If you have a company and want to qualify for ISO 9001 certification, you must comply with the following:
- The first thing is the cost and we are not talking about the cost of the certification as such but about the investment that the company must make to obtain it; There is a phase in which all the suggested measures must be implemented and this implies an expense, especially if it is necessary to hire a specialized consultant to advise them during the process. The important thing is to see it as an investment because obtaining this certificate will generate an advantage over the competition that will pay off.
- Comply with legal requirements. Although the certification is granted for complying with all the guidelines that the standard requires, it is not the only thing. In theory it should be the only thing, if we base ourselves on the concept; but the reality is that the company must comply with the requirements of some related laws. This includes the entire legal framework that covers the area in which the company is managed; some others are indifferent to the commercial area, such as: Data Protection Law, labor laws and professional risk laws; but also regional, national and even continental laws on quality processes.
- Train the staff. In order for you to ensure a quality management process, you must train your employees so that they know it and are able to abide by it. It is the staff who are in charge of the operation of the company model and they will continue to do so when the quality management system is implemented. For this task you can hire a specialized consultant or do it within the same company if you have what is necessary.
- Full participation. Remember that clock metaphor? Well, it’s true. Companies need everyone’s work and both to obtain and to maintain an ISO requires commitment and teamwork. Especially managers, you can’t run a company by sitting behind a desk; It is necessary that you know each process and that you devise how to make it more efficient without losing quality. If the certification is granted, annual audits will be carried out to verify the evolution of the quality processes.
- It is one of the first aspects that auditors take into account when considering a case; but it does not mean that a company with no background in the matter cannot opt for certification. If they are able to document and prove that they can maintain the ISO standard they will be considered.
Among the documents required by each company for quality certifications will change according to which one you wish to apply for, go to the agencies that govern the certification for which you wish to apply and they will inform you, in detail, of the pertinent forms for said certification.
Steps to follow
Regardless of the sector in which it operates and the nature of the product or service it markets, each company must follow the following steps in its objective of achieving the quality certification issued by the Mexican authorities:
- Know the requirements established for the product, since each of them belongs to a sector and, therefore, must follow a different process. It is not the same to opt for the certification of a fruit store than that of another dedicated to the distribution of high-tech items.
- Carry out an own diagnosis of the processes that are developed within the company and the current state of the product.
- Use a consultant on certification issues to carry out a second assessment of the current state of the company and its processes. This visit will help reinforce internal work in the areas that require it.
- Request a visit from the body endorsed for certification, which is carried out through an audit of internal processes. When the answer is positive, the terms for delivery of the certificate are set. But when it is negative, the company has the option to correct the failures and request a second audit.
Why is this certificate important?
The Quality Certificate certifies that a company complies with current regulations in the development or execution of a product or service. It is a hallmark of guarantee and security before its clients and prestige before the market.
Said certificate attests that a company or factory meets the requirements or standards established to operate and produce a service or product. This serves as a guarantee of security before clients and possible partners, as legal representation before other markets.
Almost all the seals that certify a company by ISO are followed by a number. The initials ISO correspond to International Organization of Standardization (International Organization for Standardization), and the number indicates the type of product or service whose quality it certifies.
- Internal organization and good attention/customer service
At the internal level of the company, having a quality management system indicates that the necessary tools and procedures have been established to guarantee the quality of the final product or service, as well as a system of evaluation and continuous improvement.
- Signing of new contracts
For the acquisition of striking contracts, some require a commitment to quality, which is why they require a quality certification among their requests.
- Tenders with Public Administrations
The public, state, regional and local administrations, more and more frequently, have companies or other organizations for the supply of products or the provision of services. Royal Legislative Decree 3/2011, of November 14, by which approves the consolidated text of the Law on Contracts with the Public Sector (modified on January 25, 2014), mentions among the requirements that the company or businessman must meet to prove their ability to contract, and more specifically their solvency, in its articles 80 and 81: «accreditation of compliance with quality assurance standards» and «accreditation of compliance with environmental management standards» respectively. That is to say, having a certificate in ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.
- Legal testimony of safety and quality
Having a Quality Certificate establishes a level of security, a better image and elevation within the markets that you want to develop, facilitating reliability with suppliers, future customers and regular customers.
The Quality certificate It gives a company a step of prestige and security, the necessary one to access possible contracts, expand the field of manufacturing and distribution with which the productivity and profitability of the company will be developed on a greater scale.
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