How Is The ISO 9001 Certification Works In Singapore?

While it is not compulsory to have an ISO 9001 certification in Singapore to operate a business, the number of companies that get the certification is growing. 

According to ISO survey 2020, there are 3,234 valid certificates in Singapore, which is 6.7% higher than 3,031 valid certificates in 2019.  

This growing trend shows that businesses in Singapore understand that getting the certification will help them ensure quality and business efficiency. 

If you are looking to apply for an ISO 9001 certification for your Singapore business operations, everything you need to know about the Quality Management System requirements and process is right here. Read on to find out the details of what and how you should do.

What Is The Meaning Of ISO 9001?

ISO 9001 means quality. This most popular international certification does help in maintaining high standards of quality assurance in every aspect of a business and operating efficiently. 

The ISO 9001 applies to all organizations, both production and service industries, small and big. 

Read also: 5 Industries Need to Implement the ISO 9001 QMS

What Are The Requirements Of the ISO 9001 Quality Management System?

To achieve this certification, you have to implement an ISO 9001 quality management system (QMS) in order to meet all requirements and achieve its objective: to improve quality, increase efficiency and reduce risk. 

The most recent version of ISO 9001 has ten clauses, but not all are mandatory requirements for your business. 

The first three clauses are not requirements. Clauses 1-3 are the scope of the standard, references, and terms and definitions. Their purpose is to provide general information, but they are equally important.

As for clauses 4-10, they are the requirements and the only mandatory clauses. Let’s take a look at the list down below to get an idea of the ISO 9001 QMS requirements.

ISO 9001 Certification in Singapore

Clause 4: Context of the organization

An organization is an open system. It deals with different parties, including staff, customers, suppliers and other relevant stakeholders. So it is critical to review and update information relating to its external and internal issues in order to assure that your company is running regularly.

Besides, you need to identify the requirements of your business stakeholders. You also need to determine the scope of the quality management system. 

Once you have verified the scope, the next step is to establish your quality management system. You need to document the system and explain how it works in your company through manuals, procedures, and work instructions to achieve the intended outcomes. 

Clause 5: Leadership

The section on leadership outlines the management responsibility by fulfilling the requirements, which are:

  • Establish a customer focus. It involves identifying customer requirements and meeting them to achieve customer satisfaction.
  • Develop a quality policy and objective guidelines that set direction and alignment.
  • Determine responsibilities and authorities all over the QMS. It would help to identify who is responsible for the various elements of the QMS, and the intended outcomes. 

Clause 6: Planning

This clause defines the requirements for addressing risks and opportunities that might impact the QMS’s ability to deliver conformance. Other than that, you also need to set objectives that align with the Quality Policy and plans to meet them.

Clause 7: Support

A business must have the proper resources to ensure the successful implementation of a QMS.

Clause 7 requires management to provide various resources to achieve product conformance such as human resources, infrastructure (buildings, equipment, transport and IT), finance, and internal and external knowledge required to operate the QMS.

This clause also emphasizes the importance of competence, awareness, and communication for human resources.

Clause 8: Operation

This clause outlines requirements for all the internal and outsourced processes required to run your business which includes:

  • The process of communicating with the customer
  • Identify and review customer requirements
  • Design and develop the product or service
  • Purchase raw material or outsource processes
  • The production or service provision
  • Release of the product or service.
  • Capture data on non-conforming products or services and feedback information for implementing corrective actions.

Clause 9: Performance Evaluation

The measurement, analysis, and improvement clause allow the company to check performance after executing QMS operations through monitoring and measuring results, process performance results, customer surveys, internal audit findings and management reviews. The performance evaluation allows your company to ensure the QMS is operating effectively. 

Clause 10: Improvement

The final clause in the ISO 9001 standard focuses mainly on improving your company through corrective actions to prevent non-conformities and continual improvement.

Get Your ISO 9001 Certification in Singapore in 8 Steps

Similar to any route to obtaining certification, there are specific steps you must follow in order to achieve ISO 9001 Certification in Singapore. Here is the 8-step guide to getting your company certified. 

Step 1: Allocate resources for the certification

Step 2: Conduct a gap analysis

Step 3: Documenting your QMS

Step 4: Implement the QMS

Step 5: Conduct internal audits

Step 6: Attend a formal ISO 9001 training

Step 7: Choose an accredited external auditor

Step 8: Obtain the certification

Step 1: Allocate resources for the certification

Getting an ISO 9001 certification for your business requires the proper allocation of resources. You must understand whether you have enough resources to do it yourself or hire a consultant to complete the whole process.

Some companies appoint an employee to get the certification, which can keep costs low but requires significant effort and time; while some organisations will hire a consultant, which can speed up the process without errors, but this can be costly to a company. 

You can also choose to get ISO 9001 certification online in Singapore, which will help you save money, time and effort with a simplified process that comes with the services of consultants and accredited certification bodies.

Step 2: Conduct a gap analysis

Gap analysis is very critical to understanding your organization’s current status. To obtain an ISO 9001 certification, you must know the gaps that need to be fulfilled. 

The most important questions you have to ask yourself are the duration, costs, difficulties and process of getting the ISO 9001 certification. 

You must do a proper pre-assessment to find those answers to compare the current quality management system with the one that adheres to the ISO standard.

Step 3: Documenting your QMS

QMS documentation is one of the requirements for ISO 9001 certification. Documenting your QMS will give you a clear framework of your business operations. It also allows consistency of processes and a better understanding of the QMS.

Step 4: Implement the QMS

Start implementing the new standard and procedures in your organization by explaining to your employees how they should adhere to the international standard and the clear benefits. Then, you need to teach and show them what changes must be made to meet the ISO 9001 QMS requirements.

Step 5: Conduct internal audits

Getting ISO 9001 certification means you need to set new processes, new quality controls, and new policies adhering to internationally recognized standards. Therefore, you will need to conduct internal audits to ensure that your company meet all the ISO 9001 QMS requirements. 

Step 6: Attend a formal ISO 9001 training

If you are doing the certification process on your own, you must have a clear understanding of the QMS requirements for the ISO 9001 certification by taking a training course. 

Step 7: Choose an accredited external auditor

Getting the ISO 9001 certification in Singapore, you need to appoint an accredited certification body to check your quality management system. The external auditor will assess all the areas in your QMS and share with you if any gaps need to be filled.

Step 8: Obtain the certification

When the accredited certification body confirms that your quality management system has met all requirements of the ISO 9001 standard, they will award the certification to you.

This certification is valid for three years. You will have to maintain your QMS system and continually improve the processes to renew the certification. 

So, now that you have learned everything about ISO 9001 QMS requirements and the process of getting the certification in Singapore. You will be on your way to obtaining an ISO 9001 certification and using the world’s most recognized quality management system for your business reputation and success.

If you are looking to get an ISO 9001 certification, there is a way for you to get it at much lower costs, faster process and without errors. Click here to find out more.

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