Tips for successful ISO 9001 Certification

An example of the “pre-ISO” days. 

A potential student walks into Metro Technology Centers. Immediately after entering, he approaches a large reception area where an employee is on the phone.The student waits about three minutes.The employee greets this potential student, and immediately the student voices his frustration.He goes into detail about calling a specific program, and being transferred twice. He leaves a voice mail and never receives a return phone call.  

The employee directs this potential student to the enrollment area, where he is asked to sign in and wait. After ten minutes, the now very frustrated student asks when he will be seen, and is told that several students are testing at the moment and they will get to him soon. After speaking with three different employees over the course of four days, the student is finally enrolled. 

An example from present day, "ISO-9001 Certified":

Potential student calls Metro Tech to inquire about career programs. She is transferred to enrollment and directed to an online location to begin the application process. The potential student fills out the electronic application, comes in the same day, and walks straight to enrollment which was recently remolded. She signs in, waits five minutes for a career advisor, and after a few minutes with the advisor, she is taken to assessment where she spends two hours completing required testing. After testing, the potential student waits eight minutes to be seen by the same Career Advisor where they go over the testing results. The student is then enrolled, and it all took place in one day.

So what is the difference between pre-ISO Certification days, and present day with ISO Certification?

Better processes and happier students. ISO Certification is not just a standard requirement, but a model for continuous improvement.

So how can an educational environment start on this model?

  • Start with Quality Objectives.

    • Using the KISS approach is best. ASK:  “What is my main product or service?’  “What does my customer require of this main product or service?”  THEN:  “How do you know you are meeting this requirement?”  BAM!  You have yourself a quality objective. 
  • Locate documents and records. 

    • The document control process has helped Metro Tech greatly. You will be amazed how a single document can impact your customer, especially if you work hard on creating it. Ensure the document meets all legal and regulatory requirement, and put a process in place to keep forms consistent.

 


Chris Gallegos is the Director of Quality Systems for Metro Technology Centers. He has worked with ISO standards since the early 1990's, in various roles such as management representative and certified lead auditor. He has led three organizations to ISO Certification, and conducted more than 1,000 internal and external audits. Since he led the effort for Metro Tech to become ISO Certified, there have been zero non-conformities.