ISO: Everything You Need to Know (Ultimate Guide + Free Templates)

isoISO means standards. A standard is just a set of requirements, decided by experts, for doing something specific.

A lot of standards exist under the banner of ISO, for all sorts of things, from quality management, to environmental and social responsibility guidelines, to how to design medical devices.

They’re useful because they help you to write good processes; how to structure, organize, implement, and improve on them.

At the heart of ISO is the principle of systematizing your approach to process management in your company – simple as that! You might be scared of ISO, but there’s really no need to be intimidated. What’s more, recent changes have made it easier than ever to get started with ISO standards.

In this Process Street article, we’ll look at everything ISO, including (but not limited to):

Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is ISO?
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Internal Audit Basics: What, Why, and How to Do Them (5 Audit Checklists)

internal auditCan you prove your team’s performance?

How do you know for certain that nothing is being missed?

The answer is simple; you perform an internal audit.

We here at Process Street know how difficult it can be to keep track of your internal workings. Short of documenting and tracking everything (which can be a hassle) it’s easy to lose track of the risks posed to your organization.

That’s ignoring how hard it can be to track whether your teams are performing their duties correctly.

That’s why this post will dive into everything you need to know about internal audits. These are practices that let you get an objective assessment of various elements of your company, such as this ISO 9001 process.

We’ll cover:

Let’s dive in.
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What is ISO 9001? The Absolute Beginner’s Guide (Free Templates!)

what is iso 9001

ISO 9001; you may have heard of it. You may be somewhat afraid of it. And, if you’re reading this article, chances are you’re probably at least somewhat confused about how to actually implement it.

It’s possible you even Googled something like “what is ISO 9001?”. Perhaps you felt you knew at one point, but the important bits never really stuck.

Well, with the 2015 updates to a whole range of ISO standards, it’s a lot less scary.

Before now, if you wanted to implement any ISO standard, you’d have to undertake a lengthy process involving unwieldy paper manuals and cumbersome bureaucratic procedure.

In short, ISO 9001 was hardly agile.

Now, you have far more flexibility to implement ISO 9001 the way that works for you best; with BPM software like Process Street to make things streamlined and simple.

This is why we’re presenting you with this handy overview of ISO 9001, including all of the essentials you need to get started.

We’ll cover how to combine structured compliance with the rapid process improvement of a startup, including:

Before we dive in, here’s some free templates to help you hit the ground running!
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What is ISO 9000? The Beginner’s Guide to Quality Management System Standards (Free ISO 9001 QMS Template)

What is ISO 9000? The Beginner's Guide to Quality Management System Standards (Free ISO 9001 QMS Template)

In 2018, Apple rolled out their brand new iPad Pro; top-of-the-line, cutting-edge, very slightly bent- wait, slightly bent?

Customers on social media and several on the MacRumors forums have discovered their iPad Pros exhibited this slight bend straight out of the box.

Of course, Apple’s response was that this was completely normal, and absolutely not a defect.

Despite the publicity Apple gives its “ultra precise” quality manufacturing process, more and more issues like these are appearing. The bendy iPad Pro is looking less like an exception, and more like an increasingly problematic trend.

Here’s a comprehensive quality breakdown (quite literally) of the iPad Pro in question:

It’s interesting to note that while Apple is bragging about premium materials such as the sapphire camera lens cover, tests like the scratch durability test done in the video above pose glaring questions to Apple’s quality standards.

Other quality management blunders from Apple’s recent track record include:

  • iPhone X: Major factory defect on phone screen making it unresponsive to touch;
  • iPhone XS/XS Max: A repeat of antennagate, except this one might be un-fixable with software;
  • Apple Watch: Batteries will swell and crack or detach the screen.
  • iPad Pro 2017: An older iPad model sold until November 2018 reportedly develops strange screen glitches;
  • MacBook Pro: Users have reported and Apple has admitted to serious defects (resulting in data loss and failure) with the solid-state drives inside 13-inch models, as well as severe performance issues with i9 CPUs and sound distortion at low volume;
  • Macbook/Macbook Pro: Defective keyboards in models from 2015 to 2017.
  • That’s a lot of issues for a company that continues to charge top dollar, push prices up, and boast a reputation as a pioneer in quality assurance.

    Obviously, and for whatever reason, there is a problem somewhere in Apple’s quality management process.

    Quality control and management is important to ensure the customer gets the value they deserve, and quality management standards like those defined by the ISO 9000 family exist to make quality management work better.

    Although Apple has received certification for ISO 27001 (an information security management standard), it doesn’t appear that they have any ISO 9000 certification for quality management. Who knows, if they had, perhaps they wouldn’t have so many QC issues?

    In this article, I’ll be looking at the ISO 9000 family of quality management standards, breaking down the basics and giving you a few free checklist templates to get you started with your own quality management system.

    Here’s exactly what I’ll be covering:

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    ISO 50001: The Ultimate Guide to Energy Management Systems (EnMS)

    What is ISO 50001 the ultimate guide to energy management systems (EnMS)

    If there was a list of the “Top Ten Problems” facing humanity in the next few decades, what do you think would be at the top?

    Well, it turns out Richard E. Smalley made such a list in 2003, and placed predictions about a looming global energy crisis at the top.

    His prediction focused on the problem of the amount of energy being consumed, against the amount of energy being produced (as well as available sources of energy production) alongside the projected boom of human population to around 8-10 billion by 2050.

    In recent years, there has been a resurgence of attention placed on the topic of energy efficiency and the relationship between energy consumption and climate change.

    It is an undeniable fact that our global climate is rising in temperature. The science is there to prove it; the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and many other international organizations have acknowledged that recent years have been the hottest since records began.

    As a result, intense weather like heat waves, hurricanes, heavy rains, tropical storms, and rising sea levels all becoming more and more commonplace.

    Despite the rising tide of climate crisis, the demand for energy supply is at an all-time high. The global economy is insatiable in its demand for energy to sustain economic growth and development.

    How should organizations prepare themselves for the inevitable challenge of sustainable adaptation, and for ensuring they have the tools in place to facilitate the systematic energy management approach that will be the core of efforts to improve energy efficiency in the future.

    “Energy efficiency is the most promising means to reduce greenhouse gases in the short term,” – Yvo de Boer, Former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

    A systems-scale approach is necessary if organizations want to seriously engage with difficult problems facing sustainable business and adapt for the future of energy management.

    ISO 50001 is a standard designed to help organizations establish efficient and effective energy management systems (EnMS) and improve energy performance.

    Based on the principles of continuous improvement and popularized by the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 management system standards, by implementing these standards companies stand to reduce energy efficiency costs, lower carbon dioxide emissions and prioritize the preservation and sustainable engagement with the environments in which they operate.

    This article will provide an introduction to the ISO 50001 standard, with a simple explanation and tips for getting started with an implementation of your own using Process Street.

    Thankfully, recent changes have made it easier than ever to implement ISO 50001 (and any ISO management system standard), so that will be a big focus of this article.

    Here’s a breakdown of what I’ll be covering here:

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    ISO 19011:2018 Basics (8 Free Management System Audit Checklists)

    internal audit

    What exactly is an “audit“?

    The International Organization for Standardization defines it as:

    “[the] systematic, independent and documented process for obtaining objective evidence and evaluating it objectively to determine the extent to which the audit criteria are fulfilled.” – ISO, from ISO 19011:2018 – Guidelines for Auditing Management Systems

    That’s another way of saying someone takes a look at what you’re doing, gathers some evidence, and compares that evidence to what you’re supposed to be doing (in other words, a set of clearly documented requirements).

    In the case of ISO, these requirements are known as standards. ISO 9001 is a standard. ISO 14001 is a standard.

    Importantly, this understanding of audit implies that there are a few main things being considered by the auditor:

    • What’s documented by the company (e.g. internal processes, policies, and SOPs)
    • Evidence gathered to support how these policies, procedures, and SOPs are implemented in practice
    • The requirements defined by the ISO standard being audited against (e.g. ISO 9001)

    Audits performed by companies to assess and analyze their own management systems are known as internal audits. Many resources for guiding companies on how to perform internal audits exist, and foremost of these is the ISO 19011 standard.

    For most management system standards, internal audits are an important requirement. Even guideline standards like ISO 26000 for social responsibility depend on reports to evidence the success of their implementations.

    As such, ISO 19011 defines a set of guidelines; a framework for companies to plan, implement, and improve upon their audit programs, for auditing the implementation of management systems.

    Since the first edition of ISO 19011 was published in 2002, many new management system standards have been published.

    These standards often share a common structure, including certain requirements, terms, and definitions being used. That means ISO 19011 can be used to devise highly economic audit programs, wherein knowledge and processes can be shared and applied across various management systems.

    By considering how they might take a broader approach to management system auditing and integration, companies implementing ISO management systems stand to save time, money, and confusion when preparing for and implementing internal audits.

    The goal of this post is to provide a spring-board for understanding ISO 19011, and how to get started with internal ISO auditing. In this post, I’ll cover:

    • What is ISO 19011
    • 7 principles of ISO auditing
    • Different types of ISO audit
    • Key elements of an ISO audit
    • 8 free ISO audit templates

    If you just want the free ISO audit templates, then here they are:

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    What is an ISO Audit? Free ISO 9000 Self-Audit Checklist (ISO 9004:2018)

    ISO self-audit

    Before we dive into the world of ISO audits, if you’re savvy on ISO audits and are just here for a complete, actionable, and totally free ISO 9004:2018 self-audit checklist, you can grab that here:

    Otherwise, read on.

    What is an ISO audit?

    An audit in the context of ISO standards is the process of making sure a certain business system or feature, whether a process itself, a quality management or business process management system, or a product, is compliant to certain requirements.

    The requirements by which the compliance of an organization are assessed could be defined by certain ISO family standards, or they could reflect the need to analyze certain performance indicators or business needs.

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