The several different ISO standards can be great guidance when adding structure to an organization. However, the standard shouldn’t be the starting point for an organization when setting up any kind of management system. When you want to create a QMS it is important to start with the core processes of the organization and especially the ones that have a direct impact on the quality of the product and services the company provides. A significant number of processes that are vital for certification are new anyway such as having some kind auditing process. This approach will have little impact because they should reflect how they do their job already. 

Written in Stone

Procedures and processes are not everywhere the same. Still the mentality within quite some companies is that they have to do it for ISO. A company doesn’t have to do anything for ISO, except for the couple documents that are vital for the standards. In essence the standard wants the organization to work according to how it is documented or formalized by the organization. When ways or working are somehow agreed within the organization everybody should work accordingly, when people don’t a NC will be noted during an external audit. In essence the company just needs to do what is upon agreed and when it doesn’t it can simply change the procedure. 

Added value

The added value certification for the organization diminishes rapidly when the feeling is that everything is for ISO. Employees get the feeling that actions are for ISO instead of for the benefit of the organization. When this is the paradigm in an organization it is very hard to get it out of the culture and change the mindset of the people. Try to avoid it from the start and always start with showing the added value to the organization regardless if ISO requires it or not.

The added value of the different standards are evident in that they can help organizations to structurize and formalize their processes which can be great. The structidized way of working should always have a consistent quality and safety way of working in mind. When this is transparent to the people in the organization they will see this value. Always keep the added value in mind when you are going for formal certification on the management system.


The most important part in setting up a management system is communication. With good communication you will have support from every level in the organization which will obviously help. Also when people are involved in the processes they will have some kind of

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