Why get certified?

The real question is “Why are there standards for management systems?” whether it be ISO 9001 Quality Management / Quality assurance, AS/NZS 4801 OHS Management, or ISO 14001 Environmental Management.

Management system standards were developed as a way for businesses to be in greater control of their organisation and yet find ways to continually improve. 

So why get certified?  Being certified to a management standard such as ISO 14001, tells your customers that an independent accredited organisation has verified you meet an international management standard.  This means:

  1. You have plan for protecting the environment (ISO 14001), meeting customer requirements (ISO 9001) or ensuring the occupational health and safety of yourself and others (AS/NZS 4801)
  2. You regularly check that you are following the plan
  3. Where your checking has highlighted discrepancies between plans and what you actually do, you will act to rectify the discrepancy (Sometimes, this may mean a change of plans, rather than compliance to the plan)

Contrary to the perception of many, management system standards, such as ISO 9001, do not prescribe how you must run your business, that is up to you.  However, they prescribe certain concepts and controls to help you manage your business better.

Often, company’s get certified to management standards because:

  • A major customer requires you to have quality assurance
  • To help improve your marketing edge or boost the confidence of your customers

However, and most importantly, the real reason to be certified to one of these standards should be to help improve your business and reduce risk (E.g. increase production, quality and sales and reduce waste and complaints); that is what they were developed for.