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ISO 9001 Certification: What It Is, Requirements, and Why You Need It


After obtaining the UNI PdR 125 certification for Gender Equality, Italy & Partners has also applied for and received ISO 9001 Certification related to Quality Management Systems. This certification, which attests to the quality of the services and products offered by a company, is usually not mandatory but provides certain benefits.

Regardless, ISO 9001 Certification is primarily an important element that guarantees the seriousness of the work performed, thereby also strengthening relationships with various stakeholders.

Let’s take a closer look at what ISO 9001 Certification is, what the requirements are, and how it can be obtained.

What is ISO 9001 Certification?

ISO 9001 Certification is an official recognition that attests to compliance with international ISO standards for Quality Management Systems. In practice, ISO 9001 Certification confirms that a company adopts a series of processes and practices aimed at ensuring the highest level of products or services provided, with the goal of consistently meeting customer expectations.

To give some concrete examples, here are the main things that ISO 9001 Certification attests to:

  • Systematic and documented management, meaning the organization follows a series of documented, systematically managed processes that guarantee the quality of products and services.
  • Customer satisfaction, which is monitored through continuous interaction with the customer and the collection of feedback.
  • Compliance with regulatory requirements, meaning that all products and services offered comply with national and international laws and regulations.
  • Employee involvement, where personnel are considered an active part of the organization and are provided with specific training sessions.
  • Adherence to processes, which are determined at the beginning of the certification process to ensure a consistent and integrated approach towards achieving set quality objectives.

In summary, ISO 9001 Certification is a guarantee not only for customers but also for the organization itself, ensuring that high standards in terms of quality of services and products are always maintained, satisfying partners, employees, and collaborators.

Who Can Apply for ISO 9001 Certification?

There are no limitations on who can apply for ISO 9001 Certification. Any type of company or organization can initiate the process for this recognition, regardless of the sector they operate in, the type of product/service offered, or their size.

Italy & Partners is partially a case study, having obtained ISO 9001 Certification at an early stage in its business history. This demonstrates that ISO 9001 Certification should not always be seen as a final goal. Applying for it at the beginning of an entrepreneurial journey is a significant investment, allowing the building of solid foundations upon which to expand the business over time.

ISO 9001 Certification: Requirements and How to Obtain It

To apply for ISO 9001 Certification, you must first contact a certification body recognized by Accredia, the only association in Italy authorized to attest to the impartiality, competence, and independence of certification bodies.

Certification bodies are responsible for evaluating the structure and systems of an organization to determine if they meet the requirements for ISO 9001 Certification.

The requirements for obtaining ISO 9001 Certification vary but mainly revolve around the implementation of a “quality policy” which must be not only formally written but also concretely applied in daily activities. To create their quality policy, organizations often need to use a specialized consulting firm to develop quality management systems, through which training sessions alternate with the drafting of specific documentation.

Once the system is created, the organization can request an assessment from the certification body, which will conduct a thorough audit. If all requirements are met and comply with ISO standards, the official ISO 9001 Certification, valid for three years, will be issued.

During the three-year period, it is essential to continue meeting standards, as “Surveillance Audits” are conducted annually. At the end of the three years, the ISO 9001 Certification can be renewed, but the entire initial process must be repeated.

What Are the Benefits of ISO 9001 Certification?

As previously mentioned, ISO 9001 Certification primarily encourages companies to strive for continuous improvement, not only in terms of the quality of products and services offered but also in their relationships with customers and all organization members, including employees.

Additionally, ISO 9001 Certification can be a plus (and sometimes a requirement) for participating in tenders. Although ISO 9001 Certification is typically voluntary, there are cases where it is mandatory.

For example, ISO 9001 Certification is required for:

  • Accredited healthcare facilities
  • Companies wanting to participate in public tenders
  • Steel transformation centers

These are specific and limited situations where ISO 9001 Certification becomes an essential requirement to offer an additional guarantee of adherence to delicate procedures.