Receiving an ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certificate is associated with a positive reputation worldwide. These norms, published by an independent organisation and accepted in the EU and 160 countries worldwide, are used by special commissions to grant certificates after careful analysis of a company’s operations. In Poland, the certificates are given out by the Polish Committee for Standardization (PKN).
ISO is one of the few objective and universally accepted indicators of service and production quality. The certificate is a solution that constantly has the same standards, regardless of country, culture and other factors. Obtaining an ISO certificate is associated with the fulfilment and implementation of the many, frequently expensive and very strict, standards and regulations.
The process of ISO certification is the awarding of a certificate to a given company. Said certificate states that a given product or service complies with the relevant legal standards. ISO is one of the standardised quality, environment, occupational health and safety, information and food management systems, the standards of which are defined by the International Organization for Standardization.
Companies and products labelled as ISO-certified are respected throughout the world. Meeting the high ISO standards is tantamount to offering products and services of the highest quality. Obtaining an ISO certificate is very important, although difficult, for companies, a challenge caused by the very stringent requirements they have to meet. ISO certification requires first and foremost the implementation of various standards, an in-depth analysis of the company’s operations, as well as streamlining and modernising of the majority of its components. The range of actions required to obtain ISO certification is so vast that many companies simply cannot manage the burden.
ISO is a worldwide organisation. Its European counterpart is CEN – the European Committee for Standardization. The purpose of the CEN is similar to the purpose of the ISO – the main goal is to remove barriers in trade and industry, and ensuring the resulting benefits for consumers. Since CEN is a European organisation, its aim, of course, is to then remove these barriers on the European market.
CEN members are national standards organisations of the member states of the European Union, as well as countries affiliated in the EFTA (European Free Trade Association). Of course, the Polish Committee for Standardization (PKN) is a part of the group.
The area of operations of ISO and CEN largely overlap, differing mainly in the area of “impact” of the results of their work: ISO – worldwide, and CEN – European. The overlap of areas of operations is most visible when the CEN adopts the standards issued by ISO and publishes them as European standards (EN). The two organisations have signed a cooperation agreement, the so-called Vienna Agreement. According to the document, over 30% of the standards adopted by CEN are standards previously issued by ISO.
The implementation of standards and the harmonisation of global standards of the Quality Management System is nevertheless a priority for many companies. This is why ISO is still one of the world’s most important distinctions.