Irrespective of the industry a company is operating in, there is almost certainly a standard against which its processes and performance can be measured. In some cases, meeting the standard is a legal requirement and, in most others, it is a commercial necessity to do business. Claiming to meet a set of requirements is one thing, proving to the world that you actually do so is a different matter. This is where certification of your management system comes in.
Independent certification is a tangible, credible way of demonstrating to customers, employees, society and other stakeholders that the organization meets the standards it claims. Involving a third-party, certification adds trust in a company’s ability to deliver products and services in line with demands from customers and other stakeholders. Using an independent certification body, like DNV who is accredited or approved by a scheme owner or national accreditation bodies, adds additional trust.
Many organizations may set out on their road to certification with the sole goals to of satisfying ticket-to-trade demands. They may not fully understand what it entails and benefits they can reap. Almost certainly, though, most organizations learn more about themselves and their operations.
While there are certainly more, below you can find 6 compelling reasons to become certified:
1. Improve the understanding of your business
Whatever products or services an organization is offering, there are critical processes which need to be properly managed. For a management system to be compliant, the relevant processes must be identified, documented to the extent necessary and implemented in accordance with the chosen standard’s requirements. A well-functioning management system allows anyone at any time to understand what should be done, how and why.
Adopting a systems-based approach gives the opportunity to identify potential weaknesses and improvement opportunities and to manage these on a continual basis. Moreover, it aids the understanding of your business context and stakeholder demands and the connected risks and opportunities. This helps you improve stakeholder relationships and reach business goals.
2. Enhance your market attractiveness
Often the reason to become certified stems from a customer requiring its suppliers to be certified to a recognized standard. Becoming certified will satisfy that particular customer’s requirement; however, it inevitably creates an appeal toward a wider range of customers. Some may previously not have considered your business as they were uncertain of your performance on quality, safety or environmental aspects, for example. Beyond certification, a high-performing management system also contributes to improved performance which contributes to ensure customer satisfaction and retention.
3. Driver for consistency and improvements
Adopting a management system based on internationally recognized standards is an enabler to secure consistent performance of your processes. . Implementing a management system based on best-practices reduces the potential for variations in performance whether related to quality, safety, environmental or other aspects, and is a driver to achieve your organization’s goals. The certification itself is an independent assessment of performance. When the management system is found compliant it leads to a certificate; however, the insight gained contributes to continual improvement to further enhance your performance. Actions taken not only helps you maintain your management system, but it can also help improve efficiency and reduce costs.
4. Improve performance and satisfaction among employees
With an implemented management system, employees know what is expected from them. Clear procedures and instructions give the necessary guidance for performing tasks in a way that coincides with the organization’s aims and objectives. Awareness and training to ensure employee involvement and implementation is essential to succeed. Employee involvement is therefore essential to reach certification and meet customer demands.
5. Improve your operational controls and efficiency
Management system certification helps your effort to address risks and increase control. It makes it easier to implement best-practice processes. As an example, certification helps uncover gaps against a standard’s requirements which means the company can target corrective actions at specific areas which can improve operational controls and efficiency and enhance delivery of products or services. Certification also contributes to your knowledge of best-practice processes and improves your adaptability to changing business scenarios and tendering for new business.
6. Reduce number of audits from external parties
To manage supply chains and decide with whom they do business, many companies make certification to specific standards a requirement. The mere fact that you are certified to a recognized standard by an independent third party is often sufficient to prove suitability. Moreover, by becoming audited and certified to a recognized standard, you can meet all customers’ demands, removing the need for multiple audits on the same topic. Should a customer prefer a different standard than that to which your management system is already compliant, the new certification process should be easier as you already have considerable competence and a robust management system in place.
The road to certification
As an independent third-party certification body, DNV works with customers throughout their certification journey. From training, to audits and digital tools, we help you prepare, achieve certification and continually improve your management system. From knowing where most management systems fail and how to fix it to self-assessments, performance benchmarking and getting more out of every audit with Risk Based Certification™ , DNV commits to being your certification partner before, during and after the audit.
More details on DNV and its certification and training services can be found at The road to certification.
Author: Stuart Brewer