Whoever meets the requirements of ISO 9001 and certifies you wins more business partners who are themselves certified to DIN ISO 9001.

What is ISO 9001?

ISO 9001 is an international standard that defines the requirements and best practices for QM systems. ISO 9001 certification means that a company can demonstrate that it is able to consistently deliver products and services that meet or exceed the expectations of regulators and customers. The latest version of the standard is called ISO 9001:2015 and is used by approximately one million companies of all sizes and industries worldwide.

ISO 9001 is a global industry standard that defines the requirements that a quality management system (QMS) must meet to help companies improve their efficiency and customer satisfaction.

This article covers these topics:

1. What is a Quality Management System (QMS)?

2. What are the advantages of ISO 9001 Certification and how to get there

3. How to obtain ISO 9001 Certification

4. Practical and free ISO 9001 Templates

What is a Quality Management System (QMS)?

A QMS is a documentation system that describes the processes and responsibilities necessary to achieve quality objectives and continuous improvement targets. QM systems should be developed internally and tailored to the company and the needs of its customers.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) recommends that an effective QMS should be developed to achieve the following 7 principles of quality management:

  1. Customer focus: Customer needs should be met and exceeded.

  2. Leadership: Uniform orientation and objectives across management and employees.

  3. Employee engagement: Competent and committed employees should be available. Employees should have adequate training and support to do the job properly.

  4. Process approach: Clearly understandable internal processes to increase efficiency should be in place.
  6. Improvement: Proactive approach to encourage improvements and to adapt to changing conditions.

  7. Evidence-based decision making: Quality metrics are defined, measured and implemented to achieve continuous improvement and ROI.

  8. Relationship Management: Identify and effectively manage key stakeholder and supplier relationships.

It is not mandatory to align or certify a documented QMS with DIN ISO 9001 certification to achieve a company's quality and improvement objectives. Every company should weigh up the benefits and the burden of the ISO 9001 requirements.

What are the Advantages of ISO 9001 Certification?

There are five main advantages that speak for an ISO 9001 certified QMS:

Advantage 1: Improving the quality of products and services

By analysing the processes involved in providing products and services, you take control and ensure a consistent quality offering. Since DIN ISO 9001 certification requires an independent, external audit, you can be sure that your processes will be examined in detail.

Advantage 2: Meeting the ISO 9001 requirements of potential business partners

There are suppliers who require ISO 9001 certification before starting their business. By fulfilling the ISO 9001 requirements and getting certified, you can attract more business partners who are probably certified to ISO 9001 themselves and expand into new markets.

Advantage 3: Increase customer satisfaction

High-quality products and services that can be relied on and that are always delivered are synonymous with satisfied customers.

Advantage 4: Management commitment

The ISO 9001 certification aims to ensure that managers actively participate in improving quality and processes within the company.

Advantage 5: Improvement of the corporate culture

With clearly defined roles, expectations and company guidelines, employees perform better and work more professionally with QM systems, who follow the ISO 9001 standards.

The ISO 9001 certification process takes a lot of time and resources. On the other hand, companies that are certified according to ISO 9001 often have a competitive advantage in their industries.

How to obtain ISO 9001 Certification?

The following six steps will help you get started in developing a QMS and obtaining ISO 9001 certification:

Step 1: Buy in

Collect and agree on the introduction of a QMS at both management and employee level. Communicate the goal and purpose clearly to employees (e.g. whether overall efficiency, customer satisfaction, offer for new work, etc. should be improved).

Step 2: Prepare a project plan

Perform an error analysis to find out to what extent your company already meets the ISO 9001 requirements and where the focus of your implementation activities should be. Use a checklist to perform the error analysis. Once you have identified the gaps, design and implement a project plan with key timelines, stakeholders, deliverables and responsibilities.

Step 3: Documentation


Develop your quality strategy and coordinate it with the actual DIN EN ISO 9001:2015. Prepare the necessary documents and records.

Step 4: Implement

Implement your ISO-oriented QMS international in your company. Make sure that all employees know why the QMS is being implemented and how it benefits them.

Step 5: Perform an internal audit

Perform internal audits to assess compliance with the implemented QMS international. Use a digital audit tool to collect information that will help you analyze whether the QMS is effective and quality objectives are being met.

Step 6: Get certified

Find a reputable independent certification body that performs site audits to determine if your company can be certified to ISO 9001:2015.


Certification according to DIN ISO 9001:2015 is possible for companies of any size and is worthwhile operationally and financially. To help you get started in the ISO 9001 certification process, download free digital ISO checklists from Lumiform.

Templates for ISO 9001 Certification

Use these templates for ISO 9001 certification to document plans and eliminate nonconformities and their causes ISO 9001 audit checklists help to assess the effectiveness of a company's quality management system (QMS). They can also be used to determine whether all requirements for ISO 9001 certification are met. Internal audit checklists are an excellent tool to support the implementation of a QMS in preparation for a third party certification audit.

Featured templates

ISO 9001:2015 Corrective Action Report Template

ISO 9001:2015 Corrective Action Report Template

This checklist is a detailed step-by-step guide aimed at initiating corrective action at an early stage. See template

Gap Analysis ISO 9001 Checklist

Gap Analysis ISO 9001 Checklist

This checklist will assist you to prepare for certification according to DIN EN ISO 9001:2015. See template

ISO 9001:2015 Audit Checklist

ISO 9001:2015 Audit Checklist

Use this template to check your quality management system for compliance with ISO 9001:2015. See template