What it Takes to Earn an ISO Flag

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An ISO flag flying proudly outside your business demonstrates to your customers your dedication to best practice. To fly an ISO flag, you’ll first need to get certified. Today, we’re going to talk about what it takes to earn an ISO flag so that you can begin the process.

What it takes to earn the most common ISO flags

ISO certifications are classified according to the standard achieved as well as the industry the business operates within. They are complex and require on-site auditing as well as intensive business changes. When you achieve the certification, you’re ready to order your flag! Here’s what it takes for your business to earn the most common ISO certifications.

  • Quality management flag–ISO 9001:2015

ISO 9001 is the most commonly registered certification, so it is common to see this flying outside many businesses. To earn this flag, your business needs to demonstrate a dedication to quality management across every level of your operation.

Certification involves on-site visits, training, auditing and a final assessment. If your business checks all the boxes, you’ll be awarded a certification. ISO standards are updated regularly, so if you have the 2000 or 2008 certification, it’s good to know you can still fly the flag.

  • Environmental flag–ISO 14001:2015

This certification is for businesses eager to display their commitment to the environment. Businesses must create and conform to an environmental management system.

This includes reducing, managing or eliminating waste, emissions, pollutants, how the business handles hazards and how efficiently the company uses energy. This has recently been updated from the ISO 14001:2004, but you can still buy the flag if your business complies.

  • Automobile industry flag–ISO / TS 16949:2009

The ISO 16949 flag is especially for automobile production companies or businesses which service parts. When you fly the ISO 16949 flag, you’re demonstrating your commitment to safety through your efficient quality management system, which will be created as you go through the process of certification.

When your business demonstrates you comply, you’ll receive your certification, and you’ll be ready to choose your flag.

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  • Energy efficiency flag–ISO 50001:2011

If you’ve seen the ISO 50001: 2001 flying outside a competitor’s door, it’s worthwhile considering whether it’s a good option for you. To earn this flag, your business will go through rigorous checks as well as changes that make your business more energy efficient.

Earning this pays off. You’ll reduce your energy consumption by 10 percent in a year, you’ll reduce the size of your carbon footprint and you’ll increase your overall business efficiency in the process. After an auditor completes a thorough check, you’ll be ready to fly the flag with pride.

  • Food safety flag–ISO 22000:2005

The ISO 22000 is the perfect flag to fly for every business which deals with food. Flying this flag confirms to your customers your entire business manages food safely. The ISO 22000:2005 has recently been upgraded to the ISO 22000:2018. However, you can still fly the 2005 flag, if you’re certified.

The ISO 22000 requires businesses to update their food safety system and show every employee and process complies. It also requires you to show you’ve asked your customers about their requirements, communicate any food-related issues with all parties in an efficient manner and boost overall customer satisfaction with your products. Once you can prove you’ve done all this, you’ve earned your flag.

  • Testing and calibration laboratory flag–ISO 17025:2005

If you run a laboratory, then the ISO 17025:2005 is the perfect flag to fly outside your premises. Your laboratory must meet rigorous standards that ensure your methods are in line with internationally accepted guidelines. Like other certifications, this requires on-site evaluations, auditing and a final assessment. This has been recently updated with the ISO 17025:2017, but you can still buy the 2005 flags if you have the certification.

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  • Information technology flag–ISO 27001:2013

Every business deals with IT these days, which makes the ISO 27001:2013 a great flag to fly outside your business. Customers are increasingly worried about how businesses use, store and collect their information. With this flag, you inform your customers you have a solid information security system, you continually improve your data management and you’re up-to-date with the latest technology.

  • Medical device flag–ISO 13485:2003

Flying this flag builds on the standard ISO 9001:2000, but it is specifically for businesses which manufacture, service or deal with medical devices. Your business must establish and adhere to high medical device standards. It has recently been updated to a 2016 version, but 2003 flags are still available for you to fly should you choose. To get the 2016 version, you’ll need to confirm your business complies with the updated regulations as assessed by an auditor.

Time to buy your flag

When you’ve achieved certification, purchase an industry standard ISO flag that truly demonstrates your dedication to quality. It’s always important to remember that flying an ISO flag sets your business ahead of your competition, making it a worthwhile investment. Why not consider earning certification and fly a flag today?

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