ISO 9001 is appreciated worldwide as the international standard that provides the specific requirements for quality management systems (QMS). These quality systems are used by organisations to demonstrate their ability to provide products and services that meet quality standards. ISO 9001:2008 standard (now replaced with ISO 9001:2015) is one of the most popular standards and the only one that organisations can seek certification for. ISO 9001 first came into the limelight in 1987 through the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO), which brings together standards bodies from over 160 nations.
ISO 9001:2015 is particularly important for companies which, in addition to consistently producing quality offerings, want to enhance customer satisfaction through quality and can continually improve the processes and assurance aspects. The requirements for this standard are generic and can be applied to an organisation of any type or size.
For a business to achieve the ISO 9001 certification takes work and a dedication to providing quality services. Jonathan Alexander Abt is a specialist orthodontist who has accomplished this, becoming the first specialist orthodontic practice to gain the ISO 9001:2008 certification. In an article titled Do what you say and say what you do for the Orthodontic Business Supplement (OBS) April 2010 issue, Mr. Alexander Abt explains how he pushed for the certification process for his practice.
First on Mr. Alexander Abt’s list on the journey towards certification was focusing on the human resource aspect of the orthodontic practice. The work was to establish a strong, proactive and communicative workplace culture by having a highly qualified team. In March 2004, the practice achieved Investor in People, which elevated the firm’s standing within the community. To build on this, the firm also attained the BDA Good Practice certification in September of that same year.
In 2008, the firm focused attaining the ISO 9001 standard that required bringing out the best of the practice by formally articulating the quality procedures already in place. For Mr. Alexander Abt’s practice, implementing a quality system called for having a quality manager who would solely focus on this goal. The practice chose to work with British Standard Institution (BSI) towards attaining the standard and in doing so signed up for a formal assessment, the first part of which occurred in December 2009. The second part of the assessment took place in March 2010, completing an eighteen-month process that led to Mr. Alexander Abt’s practice being ISO certified.