The certification process begins when a customer submits a certification application to Testmill Certification. Based on the preliminary information provided by the customer, a scheduled plan and a proposal for the certification of the customer’s management system are prepared. A certification agreement is established when the customer accepts the proposal.
Certificate and Accreditation
A certificate is issued to the certified client as evidence of the successful certification of their management system. The certificate includes information such as the scope of certification, applicable management system reference standard (e.g., ISO 9001:2015), and the certificate’s validity period.
Accreditation involves an examination of the competence and impartiality of a certification body. The accreditation authority (FINAS) evaluates the competence of the certification body. Accreditation ensures that the certification body meets the existing requirements. Testmill Certification is an accredited certification body with accreditation requirement ISO/IEC 17021:2016-1, accredited as S051.
Certification of management systems conducted by an accredited body demonstrates to a certified company’s clients and other stakeholders, in a reliable manner, that the company’s management system complies with the requirements of the reference standard used for certification. Accredited certification is recognized worldwide.
Initial Assessment of the Situation
In defining core processes, it’s crucial to understand what is essential for the organization. The company’s operational policy, business strategy, and factors affecting strategy implementation need to be identified. The customer collaborates with the organization to identify and define the core processes, which then guide the audit targeting. Defining core processes is a collaborative effort in which top management actively participates. Well-defined and relevant core processes result in an effective and comprehensive outcome during the management system audit.
Certification Audit Phase 1
During the first phase of the certification audit, the documentation of the customer’s management system is examined. The purpose is to assess the readiness of the customer and their management system for certification. Audit findings are documented and communicated to the customer. Particular attention is given to potential areas for improvement. The first phase of the certification audit can also be conducted at the customer’s premises.
Certification Audit Phase 2
The actual certification audit is always conducted at the customer’s premises. Throughout the audit process, the compliance of the management system with the audit criteria is assessed. The audit is based on interviews, inspections, and other concrete observations of the functioning and effectiveness of the management system. Observations made during the audit are communicated to the customer and included in the assessment report. If the customer’s system meets the requirements of the reference standard used as the audit criterion, a certificate is issued to the customer.
ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems
ISO 9001 is a globally recognized and acknowledged management system standard. The core objectives of a management system compliant with ISO 9001 are systematic continuous improvement of operations and increasing customer satisfaction. When implemented correctly, an ISO 9001 management system brings a significant competitive advantage to a company due to improvements in the quality of operations.
What Are the Real Benefits of Management System Certification?
“We’ve been doing it this way for 20 years, and we’re doing just fine!”
“We don’t need a quality system; it only adds bureaucracy and unnecessary hassle and costs!”
The above statements reflect the views of many business decision-makers regarding management systems. It is possible and common for a company to succeed without a certified management system. In such cases, the company likely already operates based on the same practices and principles on which the ISO 9001 system is built. In this situation, aligning the company’s management according to ISO 9001 requirements is not particularly burdensome – many of the practices are already in place.
Certified management systems are important tools and a guarantee of success for a company, especially in the sense that they are a public demonstration to the company’s stakeholders and customers of systematic high-quality operations. In some industries, certification is a legal requirement. In many subcontracting assignments, the ISO 9001 management system of the subcontractor is often included in the customer’s requirements, reducing the need for the customer to assess the subcontractor’s management skills and ability to perform subcontracting assignments.
Here are some advantages of certified management systems:
- Improved competitiveness
- Access to new markets
- Improved process management
- Enhanced operational effectiveness
- Increased customer trust
- Reduction in quality-related costs
ISO 9001 Core Content
The ISO 9001 management system defines the company’s operating environment, management responsibilities, core and support processes, resources, risks, opportunities, and objectives and metrics to evaluate goal attainment. These elements are compiled, organized, and documented into a system accessible to the company’s personnel in the appropriate scope. By adhering to the requirements documented in it, a company can avoid many problems that have arisen worldwide due to unstructured management.
The First Step Towards Certification
If your company has a documented management system but needs an assessment and inspection by an impartial certification body, contact Testmill Certification. We will provide your company with an offer for the certification of the management system. The offer includes an assessment of certification and an estimate of the cost for certification maintenance until the next certification assessment.
ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems
ISO 14001 environmental management system is a systematic approach to achieving significant improvements in a company’s environmental impact. The system helps the owners and managers of a company become more aware of the company’s environmental responsibilities and legal requirements. Information and a systematic approach to the environmental impact of a company’s operations help the company manage and monitor related risks. ISO 14001 Environmental Management System can be implemented in any company and in any industry. Adopting an ISO 14001 environmental management system demonstrates the company’s commitment to environmental matters.
The environmental system helps reduce the amount of waste generated by a company and lowers the company’s carbon footprint.
We offer compliance monitoring services for manufacturers of type-approved vehicles or their components operating in Finland. Because the regulatory requirements for compliance monitoring are based on the ISO 9001 management system, we can efficiently combine ISO 9001 management system audits and compliance monitoring audits. This translates to cost savings compared to procuring audits from different operators.
It is also possible to expand the customer’s uncertified operational system into a certified ISO 9001 management system. After all, ISO 9001 requirements need to be met for compliance monitoring anyway.
Benefits of Certified Environmental Management Systems
- Enhances the company’s image and opens up potential new customers
- Reduces the environmental impact of the company’s operations
- In some cases, reduces environmental taxation and insurance costs
- Customer groups that prioritize environmental issues value a partner committed to environmental matters
- Customers feel that the company meets environmental requirements and contributes to environmental responsibility
- Increased motivation due to considering environmental impacts
- Enhanced environmental awareness
- Reduced environmental risks in the residential environment
ISO 14001 Structure
The structure of the environmental management system is identical to that of the ISO 9001 management system. This means that ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 systems can be integrated into a single management system. Similarly, their audits can also be combined, resulting in cost savings in certification and maintenance.
Compliance Monitoring for Production Requirements
The type approval of a vehicle or its parts requires evidence that the manufacturer’s production meets the legal requirements and the requirements set by the authorities. Compliance monitoring is a procedure that ensures the compliance of production of type-approved vehicles and their components with the applicable requirements. Compliance monitoring is governed by the framework directive 2007/46/EC and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) regulation. Compliance monitoring is conducted for manufacturers of type-approved vehicles or their components.
Who Can Perform Compliance Monitoring?
Compliance monitoring can be carried out either by the type approval authority itself or by a Category C designated testing laboratory appointed by the authority for a specifically designated scope. Testmill is a Category C designated testing laboratory appointed by the Finnish Transport Safety Agency. Our designated scope is extensive, allowing us to conduct production compliance monitoring for nearly all manufacturers of vehicles or their components operating in Finland. You can check our current designated scope here.
What are the criteria for production conformity inspections?
The requirements for production conformity inspections are defined by the Finnish Transport and Safety Agency, which acts as the type-approval authority. The management system implemented by the manufacturer in their production should, to some extent, be based on the ISO 9001 management system standard. Certified ISO 9001 systems are not required. In addition, certain criteria specified in the framework directive and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) agreement on uniform provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to their environmental pollution (E-symbols) are applied. You can find more information on the requirements for production conformity inspections on the Finnish Transport and Safety Agency’s website.
Testmill Certification Impartiality Statement
The purpose of certifying management systems is to provide credibility to all parties that the certified management system complies with the relevant requirements. Credibility requires that certification is carried out impartially and independently.
Testmill Certification is committed to treating all clients impartially, independently, and equally in all certification activities. Impartiality and independence are fundamental principles of Testmill Certification’s operations at both the organizational and operational levels.
The personnel of Testmill Certification are trained to recognize and understand the significance of impartiality and independence in management system certification activities. We systematically and regularly identify, assess, and manage factors that could potentially affect our impartiality.
The management and entire organization of Testmill Certification are committed to adhering to the principles outlined in this impartiality statement. By continuously implementing these principles, we ensure the highest possible credibility of our certification activities.
Management system certificates are typically valid for three years at a time. This three-year period is referred to as the certification cycle. During certification, a plan for periodic audits is established for the certification cycle. Periodic audits are conducted to ensure the continuous compliance of the management system with the requirements of the reference standard.
Periodic audits can be focused on specific areas or processes of the client’s operations, taking into account the client’s preferences. Periodic audits have slightly narrower content compared to certification audits.
Periodic audits are carried out annually. Conducting periodic audits annually is an absolute requirement for the validity of the certificate.
Before the certification cycle concludes, a re-certification audit is conducted to ensure the compliance of the company’s management system with the requirements. The re-certification audit is more comprehensive in content than a periodic audit. Following the successful audit, the certificate is renewed and valid for the next three-year period.
Current Status of Certificates Issued by Testmill Certification
Upon request, we provide information about the current status of certificates issued by us. This information includes the certified client’s name, industry, certified locations, certified operations, and the certificate’s validity period. You can send your request via email to email@example.com.
Use of the Testmill Certification Mark
As a proof of successful certification, the company receives a certification certificate and the Testmill Certification Mark. The certification certificate and mark can be used by the company in announcements, advertising, and on the company premises for certified services. Testmill Certification monitors the use of certification marks.
Scope Reduction and Withdrawal of Certification
Certification is temporarily withdrawn if:
- The certified management system consistently or seriously fails to meet certification requirements, including requirements related to the effectiveness of the management system.
- The certified client does not allow periodic or re-certification audits to be conducted at the required intervals.
- The certified client voluntarily requests the temporary withdrawal of certification.
During the period of temporary withdrawal, the client’s management system certification is temporarily invalid.
If the issues leading to temporary withdrawal are not resolved within the time specified by Testmill Certification (e.g., 6 months), the certification may be fully withdrawn, or its scope may be reduced to exclude areas that do not meet certification requirements. If the certification agreement is terminated, the certificate issued by Testmill Certification is automatically canceled.
As a result of certificate cancellation, the client must ensure that all references to the Testmill Certification certificate are removed from their documents immediately.
Below is an example of a certification mark issued to a company:
The certification of an existing management system can be transferred from one accredited certification body to another following a standardized procedure. We assist the client in the transfer process and make it as seamless as possible. The transfer process follows these steps:
- Contact Testmill Certification.
- Complete the application and provide the requested documents to Testmill Certification.
- Review our proposal. If you are satisfied with our offer, inform Testmill Certification of your acceptance.
- You become our client. Certification typically continues with the same schedule as with the previous certification organization.
- Continue to operate in accordance with your certified management system, following the principles of continuous improvement.
- Contact us and request a quote!
Rest assured, this does not commit you to anything, and we do not add your information to any registry or mailing list. All information is kept confidential.
Complaints and Change Requests
Are you dissatisfied with Testmill Certification’s operations? You can initiate a change request process by informing any person employed by Testmill Certification of your dissatisfaction or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Upon receiving notification, we will provide you with a written guide for the change request process, which will be followed during the process, and we will assist as needed in the change request process.