Frequently Asked Questions

What is ISO9001:2015?

Why should I implement ISO9001?

What are the ISO9001 requirements?

How long will it take?

Will I be swamped in paperwork?

How long will my ISO9001 certificate last?

Is ISO9001 compatible with other standards?

What are the steps to ISO9001 certification?

What is ISO9001:2015?

ISO9001:2015 is the latest revision of the ISO9001 international standard that specifies requirements for a quality management system (QMS). The previous version (ISO9001:2008) became obsolete in September 2018.

Why should I implement ISO9001?

Benefits of ISO9001 include:

  • provides for clearly defined operational processes for staff, operations, communication etc.
  • provides a framework for increased efficiency
  • drives continuous improvement
  • potential direct reduction in the cost of scrap and rework
  • increased competitiveness among industry rivals
  • improved morale among staff
  • meets the requirements for public and private tenders

What are the ISO9001 requirements?

There are 10 sections in ISO9001:2015 with supporting sub-clauses. The standard outlines the requirements that must be applied in order to achieve certification and these include:

  • context of the organisation
  • management commitment and leadership
  • resources including people, equipment and documentation
  • product/service delivery
  • process measurement and improvement
  • customer satisfaction

How long will it take?

The answer depends on your organisation’s specific circumstances (size, complexity, commitment etc.) but to give a broad indication, an ISO9001 QMS can be implemented in a single-site company of up to approx. 50 people in 4-6 months. There is no reason that implementation in any type of company should take more than 12 months.

Will I be swamped in paperwork?

Only if you want to be! ISO9001:2015 is focussed on systems rather than procedures so it is entirely up to the client to decide how many procedures they should have. There are certain procedures that we would recommend and there are several mandatory records required under ISO9001 but contrary to popular belief, compliance with ISO9001 no longer means folders full of procedures.

How long will my ISO certificate last?

Once you successfully complete your initial audit, certification bodies (CBs) issue 3-year certification to ISO9001. They will then conduct surveillance audits within the 3-year cycle (typically annually) to ensure that the standards that were witnessed at the initial audit remain in place and that the system is continually improving. Just before the 3-year anniversary of the initial certification, the CB will conduct a recertification audit and the cycle starts again.

Is ISO9001 compatible with other standards?

Absolutely! ISO standards are now built on a structure called Annex SL and there is a great deal of commonality within these standards. This high-level structure which is common across recently revised standards (e.g. ISO9001, ISO14001, ISO45001) means that multi-standard systems can now be fully and relatively easily integrated into a single system.

What are the steps to ISO 9001 certification?

See our guide to certification below.

Steps to ISO System Certification


Step 1

Determine the context of the organisation (issues, interested parties and scope)


Step 2

Determine the processes within the organisation


Step 3

Develop the system required to support the processes (procedures, records, instructions etc.)


Step 4

Communicate and implement the system


Step 5

Conduct an internal audit of the system


Step 6

Address internal audit findings and prepare the management review


Step 7

Undergo your certification audit


Step 8

Ongoing internal audits and annual external audits

Darren Rudden of Asgard Management Solutions worked with us in early 2017 to implement ISO9001:2015. We had our audit in April 2017 and achieved certification without any difficulty. I would highly recommend Asgard to any company who needs help implementing any ISO standard.

Niall Cullinane
CTS Group, Portlaw


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