What it means to be ISO Compliant vs ISO Certified (and why it matters).


In today’s sophisticated online world, consumers expect more from the products and services they purchase. With one click, customers can review your product details while comparing you against your competitors. Being recognized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an important step if you want to stand out. ISO is an independent, non-governmental, international organization that develops standards to ensure the quality, safety, and efficiency of products, services, and systems.

With more than 2,000 international standards that cover multiple industries, being ISO Compliant and/or Certified is no easy task. Most companies strive to deliver better products and services so choosing the right path is an important step. “At SVF, we focus on quality management standards (ISO 9001) to ensure that we are working more efficiently and reducing our changes of product failures,” informs Rudy Garcia, SVF’s Director of ISO Compliance. “We decided years ago to go the extra mile and get certified,” adds Garcia.

What is the difference between being compliant and being certified?

Being compliant means your organization is mindful of complying with the requirements of a specific ISO standard without going through the certification process. Your company likely adheres to requirements that are considered “ISO Standards” as a best practice.

Being certified not only means that you believe in and adhere to the requirements, but you have taken additional steps through a third party to be audited and if successful to become ISO certified. Doing so demonstrates and proves to your customers how serious your company is about quality and safety.

You have decided to become certified, now what?

There are four main steps to becoming ISO Certified. 1. Documenting your management system and identifying your core business process. 2. Implementing your system to ensure procedures are being performed and documented. 3. Verifying that your system is effective by conducting audits, identifying, and reporting on strengths and weaknesses and taking corrective and preventative measures. 4. Registering your system with the appropriate certification body by submitting management documentation that is reviewed with an auditor to confirm everything is correct and implemented effectively. “While time consuming, getting certified, for us, was the easy part. Raising awareness and enforcing the procedures among employees is the hard part,” informs Garcia.

“One of SVF’s quality policies is to establish partnerships with suppliers and interested parties to provide an improved service. We look to do business with companies that take safety and quality as seriously as we do,” says Jack McDonald, President of Matco-Norca and SVF Flow Controls.

Whichever path your company follows, it is always important to research all options to ensure that you have the bandwidth and the dedication to implement it. 

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