The short answer is anybody.

ISO 9001 is not restricted to any type of organisation and company structure and any size.

Size Really Doesn’t Matter

There is a myth that only larger organisations who can afford to have a dedicated person looking after the system can get ISO 9001, that is further from the truth.  Most of the businesses in the world are Micro businesses and are generally less than 10 employees, a large volume of these can obtain ISO 9001 certification with relative ease.

It is not uncommon for one person businesses to obtain certification, we have some organisations who fit into this category and they manage the system effectively so size really doesn’t matter.

Fancy Offices are a Must for ISO 9001 Certification

This is just not true either, some businesses worry about having ISO auditors enter their premises as they might have limited office facilities.  This really does not matter to an auditor, we will work in any environment necessary as long as it is safe to do so.

You don’t even need an “office”, you are perfectly fine running a business from home and we have completed audits in peoples kitchens, converted garages, conservatories, converted sheds and on one occasion someones bedroom as thats where they had their computer setup.

You shouldn’t let your location or premises prevent you from gaining ISO certification.

Structure is Everything

Company structure really doesn’t matter, you can be a sole trader, an entrepreneur, limited company, partnership or any other type of business and you can gain certification.  One thing to watch out for though is that some certification bodies and auditors struggle with auditing the smaller businesses.

They have trouble adapting their approach to the small business and expect lots of documents and procedures to be presented when in reality you only implement what is needed.

Auva specialise in small businesses and many of our assessors have received special training to cope with the smaller working environment and understand what is practical whilst remaining compliant.

Auva have created a special ISO package for Startup businesses to show off our skills and expertise in this area.

ISO 9001 Certification is Only for Manufacturing Organisations

This is a common misconception, the standard can be applied to any organisation no matter what you do.  ISO standards originated from manufacturing environments such as Fords with the introduction of BS5750 which many auditors will still remember but it has adapted and changed a lot since then.

The standard is now more generalised and can apply to any business and what is tending to happen nowadays is they devise other standards which are sector specific such as IATF 16949 (Automotive), AS9100 (Aerospace), ISO 13485 (Medical).  However, all of the standards use ISO 9001 as the core base due to its generalisation and practicality.

So going back to the original question, anybody can gain ISO 9001 certification and you do not need to spend a lot of time, effort and money to achieve.

If you would like to discuss anything in particular, please drop us a message.  We would be more than happy to discuss your personal circumstances.