Certification delivers many things for organisations, a ‘ticket-to-trade, a ‘licence-to-operate’, demonstration of compliance as just three. Maybe the most important – and yet often frequently overlooked – is the business improvement that the certification process delivers.
At the heart of driving business improvement are three key elements:
- Firstly, the audit and certification starts with a core document, from an international standard such as those provided by ISO, through sector schemes dealing with specific focus to internal company documents.
- Secondly, the preparation for the audit and certification process sees businesses taking the standard or other document and implementing it within their organisation. Given the depth of expertise, knowledge and understanding which goes into standards such as those produced by ISO, its thorough implementation will see the business upping its game.
- Thirdly, the audit and certification process carried out by organisations such as IIOA members, sees an impartial, 3rd-party process whereby the business is examined against the standard. During this, issues such as non-compliances and observations are raised which enables an business to better understand how it can improve.
When these three key elements are together in the process, it becomes clearer how a business will improve as it moves through the elements. Added to this, so many of the standards have continuous improvement as a vital element that is checked in the audit and certification process. This vitally means that improvement is not simply a historical check of what has been achieved, but looks to check that the business is set with systems which enable them to continue this improvement.
Very simply with these core elements, businesses have a significant system to improve, using the standard, implementing and being checked against it, business improvement become more embedded and the organisation better.
The IIOA ‘Certification for Business Improvement‘ paper highlights the business improvement from certification in greater depths. Each of the IIOA members explain how they see the audit and certification process leading to business improvement. The paper also gives illustrations of how businesses have improved from the process.
The publication of ‘Certification for Business Improvement‘ fits hand-in-hand with the recently celebrated World Accreditation Day 2022 theme of ‘Sustainability in Economic Growth and the Environment‘. With accreditation adding additional layers of trust to the system by providing independent assurance of IIOA members’ work, business improvement can be achieved with confidence from the conformity assessment system.
Whether it is organisations improving their quality performance, their environmental performance, their health & safety performance or numerous other ways, the auditing and certification process offered by IIOA members drives business improvement.
Complimenting the ‘Certification for Business Improvement‘ paper, earlier this year, IIOA produced the ‘Transformative technology techniques’ paper, highlighting how the next steps in the delivery of auditing, certification and assurance services by IIOA members will embrace new technology, use of data and methods to drive enhanced value for businesses.