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FAQ / Frequently Asked Questions

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions ( FAQ ), which we hope you find helpful.  Please feel free to contact us and we would love to answer any additional questions or elaborate on our posted answers.  

Who is The ISO 9001 Group?

The ISO 9001 Group is a full service consulting, auditing and training firm based in Houston, Texas with over 29 years of experience in helping organizations achieve results through their management systems.

 

Our mission is to help your organization increase its profitability, improve its operations and reduce or eliminate business risks and waste. We can help your organization meet its goals and objectives through the development and implementation of effective quality, health, safety and environmental management systems.

 

We combine a thorough understanding of your needs and our specialized experience to develop customized solutions that achieve results.  We can help your company manage your system.  We are ISO 9001 Compliant.

What is a Quality Management Sytem?

A Quality Management System or commonly referred to as a QMS, is a management system that is put in place to ensure that your organization establishes specific processes and procedures to consistently meet customer requirements and achieve customer satisfaction.  A QMS is often based upon a quality management system standard such as, ISO 9001:2015, API Spec Q1 and API Spec Q2.

What management systems does The ISO 9001 Group support?

The ISO 9001 Group are management system experts.  We support most management systems that organizations utilize.

Below are some common systems that we support:

  • API Specification – (Q1, Q2, 4F, 5CT, 6A, 6D, 7K, 7-1, 11E, 16A, 20E, and more),
  • AS 9100 – AS 9110, Quality Management System – For Aviation, Space and Defense Organizations,
  • ISO 9001 – Quality Management Systems,
  • ISO 14001 – Environmental,
  • ISO /TS 16949 – For Automotive production and Service Parts,
  • ISO 17025 – Testing & Calibration Laboratories,
  • ISO 29001 – Product and Service Supply Organizations to the Petroleum and Natural Gas Industry,
  • ISO 45001 \ OHSAS 18001 – Occupational Health and Safety management system,
  • ISO 50001 – Energy Management,
  • and many more.

If you don’t see your management system listed, please feel free to contact us.

What are ISO 9001 standards?

The ISO 9001 standard is the most popular quality management system standard in the world.  It provides guidelines for organizations that are seeking to implement a quality management system for the production of their products or services provided to their customers.  The standard focuses on controls such as: Control of Documents, Control of Records, Control of Nonconformities, Internal Audits, Corrective Actions, Risk Based Thinking and Leadership.

How do I get ISO 9001 Certified?

Companies interested in achieving ISO 9001 Certification must implement a quality management system, based upon ISO 9001:2015.  The QMS must be in place for a minimum of 3 months, so that the certification body has records to audit against.  The primary steps to certification includes:

  1. Develop a Quality Policy
  2. Develop a Quality Manual
  3. Write required procedures
  4. Conduct training for staff
  5. Implement your manual and procedures over a 3 month period
  6. Conduct an internal audit
  7. Conduct a management review meeting
  8. Obtain quotes from accredited certification bodies
  9. Stage I audit
  10. Address findings from Stage I audit
  11. Stage II audit
  12. Address findings from Stage II audit
  13. Achieve ISO 9001 Certification

What is ISO certification?

ISO Certification is an actual certificate companies receive from a certification body, once they have undergone a certification audit.  Upon successfully passing the certification audit, the certification body will issue your organization a serialized certificate.  The certificate will be registered with the certification body, as long as you continue to pass the annual audits by the certification body.  It’s important to state, that the certificate actually belongs to the certification body.  They can withdraw or suspend your certificate for major and repeat findings when they conduct their audit.

 

The certificate does not certify your products or services, but rather indicates that your quality management system has been verified by the certification body, to meet the requirements of the respective management system, such as: ISO 9001, ISO 45001, ISO 17025, etc.

 

ISO certification, does offer a competitive advantage to those that achieve it.  One primary advantage, is that it allows organizations to be listed as approved vendors by their existing or potential customers.  Organizations that pursue ISO certification, should see a return on their investment within 1 year.

Why ISO certification?

ISO certification, offers a competitive advantage to those that achieve it.  One primary advantage, is that it allows organizations to be listed as approved vendors by their existing or potential customers.  Organizations that pursue ISO certification, should see a return on their investment within 1 year.

 

ISO certification allows organizations to reduce their risks and improve operations, because they have policies, processes and procedures (management system) in place that employees are trained on and execute when performing their duties. The management system provides a strong foundation to support current operations and future growth.  Many problems in an organization are due to the lack of clear policies, processes and procedures.  ISO certification can assist in addressing such problems.

What is API Spec Q1?

API Spec Q1 is published by The American Petroleum Institute (API).  API Spec Q1, is a Quality Management System Specification for Manufacturing Organizations to the Petroleum and Natural Gas Industry. API Spec Q1, is similar to standards such as ISO 9001, but API Spec Q1 is industry specific.

 

If your organization manufactures, machines or perform repairs for parts and equipment used by the petroleum and natural gas industry, you may want to consider implementing an API Spec Q1 quality management system.  Click here to find out more about API Spec Q1.

What is API Spec Q2?

API Spec Q2 is published by The American Petroleum Institute (API). API Spec Q2, is a Quality Management System Specification for Service Supply Organizations to the Petroleum and Natural Gas Industry. API Spec Q2, is similar to standards such as API Spec Q1 and ISO 9001, but API Spec Q2 is specific to service companies, such as: rental equipment, repair service, inspection, testing, drilling, cementing, etc.

 

If your organization provides services to the petroleum and natural gas industry, you may want to consider implementing an API Spec Q2 quality management system. Click here to find out more about API Spec Q2.

Consulting Cost for ISO 9001 certification?

The first thing to point out when pursuing ISO 9001 Certification, is that it should be considered as an investment, not a cost.

An investment provides return and increases revenues and a cost is a burden on profits.

The investment for consulting services to assist an organization achieve ISO 9001 certification, primarily revolves around the following variables:

  • type and complexity of products or services,
  • how many sites,
  • size of sites (square footage),
  • number of employees
  • do you design products,
  • existing systems in place,
  • etc.

Other investments to consider when pursuing ISO 9001 certification includes:

  • travel expenses (if not local),
  • time and labor required to implement the system,
  • actual certification cost ($3k – $7k) per site

Without knowing the answers to these variables, it’s hard to provide an estimated investment.

The best way to determine the investment for consulting services, is to request a proposal.

Consulting Cost for API Spec Q1 certification?

The first thing to point out when pursuing API Spec Q1 certification, is that it should be considered as an investment, not a cost.

An investment provides return and increases revenues and a cost is a burden on profits.

The investment for consulting services to assist an organization achieve API Spec Q1 certification, primarily revolves around the following variables:

  • type and complexity of products or services,
  • how many sites,
  • size of sites (square footage),
  • number of employees
  • do you design products,
  • existing systems in place,
  • etc.

Other investments to consider when pursuing API Spec Q1 certification includes:

  • travel expenses (if not local),
  • time and labor required to implement the system,
  • actual certification cost ($3k – $7k) per site

Without knowing the answers to these variables, it’s hard to provide an estimated investment.

The best way to determine the investment for consulting services, is to request a proposal.

Consulting Cost for API Spec Q2 certification?

The first thing to point out when pursuing API Spec Q2 certification, is that it should be considered as an investment, not a cost.

An investment provides return and increases revenues and a cost is a burden on profits.

The investment for consulting services to assist an organization achieve API Spec Q2 certification, primarily revolves around the following variables:

  • type and complexity of products or services,
  • how many sites,
  • size of sites (square footage),
  • number of employees,
  • do you design products,
  • existing systems in place,
  • etc.

Other investments to consider when pursuing API Spec Q2 certification includes:

  • travel expenses (if not local),
  • time and labor required to implement the system,
  • actual certification cost ($3k – $7k) per site

Without knowing the answers to these variables, it’s hard to provide an estimated investment.

The best way to determine the investment for consulting services, is to request a proposal.

What are Certification Bodies?

Certification Bodies, aka CBs, are the actual companies that issue the certificate for your management system.  CBs are accredited most commonly be either ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) or United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).  ANAB or UKAS accredits the CBs to issue certificates to your organization.  You should always ensure that you are dealing with an accredited CB.  There are reputable non-accredited CBs, but we recommend that you use an accredited CB.

CBs follow a standard called ISO/IEC 17021 Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems.  This is similar to the management system you follow, but ISO 17021 is for CBs.  ISO 17021 forbids CBs to offer consulting or auditing to their clients, as this is a major conflict of interest.  You should also be aware of CBs that have another legal entity established, so that they simply can offer you consulting or auditing.  This should give you an idea of their integrity.  Read this article,  Is Your Certification Body Offering Consulting?

CBs are supposed to be impartial and objective in their efforts to certify you.  When getting certified to standards such as, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 17025, etc., organizations have many options and your not stuck with any specific CB.  In fact, we often save our client between $3k – $5k, because we shop our clients’ certification around to various CBs, to get the best price for our client.

Benefits of using an ISO 9001 consultant?

There are many benefits in using an ISO 9001 consultant.  As consultants, we are experts on management systems such as ISO 9001 and many others.  We have assisted hundreds of various types of organizations achieve ISO 9001 Certification and have mastered the process to certification.  We are able to assist our clients avoid many of the common pitfalls organizations often face on their journey towards certification.  Here are a couple of main benefits of using The ISO 9001 Group, as your ISO 9001 Consultant:

Save Lots of Time.

Many organizations contact us, after they’ve spent sometimes up to 2 years attempting to implement a quality management system.  We are typically able to get our clients certified within 4 – 5 months from start to finish.

Save Lots of Money.

Time is money.  If we are able to shorten the process for clients by 19 months, we have saved our clients a lot of money.  This can be calculated by the compensation you pay your internal staff over a 19 month period and the loss of productivity of their primary duties.  We are also able to save clients money, by helping them select the right certification body for them.  There are lot of options, that clients are not typically aware of.  We are able to save our clients another $3k – $5k, because we help them select the best certification body for them.

Guaranteed Certification.

We offer a 100% guarantee that you will get certified.  Our clients have been certified by many certification bodies, which means our system has been vetted and proven.

Continued Support.

We continue to support our clients’ management system, beyond their initial certification.  Achieving certification, is simply the first step.  A management system must be maintained and continually improved to keep up with the ever changing needs of industry and customers.  Also, standards change on an average of every 5 years.  As we attend specialized training and conferences regarding the latest changes, we are able to bring that right back to our clients.

Benefits of using an API Specification consultant?

There are many benefits in using an API consultant. As consultants, we are experts on API specifications. We have assisted hundreds of various types of organizations achieve API Certification and have mastered the process to certification. We are able to assist our clients avoid many of the common pitfalls organizations often face on the journey towards certification. Here are a couple of main benefits of using The ISO 9001 Group, as your API Consultant:

Save Lots of Time.

Many organizations contact us, after they’ve spent sometimes up to 2 years attempting to implement an API quality management system. We are typically able to get our clients certified within 4 – 5 months from start to finish.

Save Lots of Money.

Time is money. If we are able to shorten the process for clients by 19 months, we have saved our clients a lot of money. This can be calculated by the compensation you pay your internal staff over a 19 month period and the loss of productivity of their primary duties. We are also able to save clients money, by reducing the number of trips API may require to issue your certification.

Guaranteed Certification.

We offer a 100% guarantee that you will get API certified. Our clients have already been certified by API, which means our system has been vetted and proven.

Continued Support.

We continue to support our clients’ management system, beyond their initial certification. Achieving API certification, is simply the first step. A management system must be maintained and continually improved to keep up with the ever changing needs of industry and customers.  Also, API specifications change on an average of every 5-10 years.  As we attend specialized training and conferences regarding the latest changes, we are able to bring that right back to our clients.

What is Risk-Based Thinking?

Risk-Based Thinking is a new concept introduced in ISO 9001:2015.  The concept of risk-based thinking revolves around assessing risk at the process and procedural level, as opposed to just focusing on loss prevention.  Most organizations look to manage risk by insurance policies, reserves, etc.  Very few Risk Managers, actually drill down to the process and procedural levels to assess risks.  Risk based thinking, is when organizations look at all of their processes and proactively identify risks and put preventive actions (risk mitigation) in place to address the identified risks.  Without doing this, organizations are simply focusing on corrective actions or putting fires out when problems pop up.

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