What Types of Businesses Require ISO Certifications?

Kate Onissiphorou

by Kate Onissiphorou

31st August 2022

There are various types of businesses that require ISO certification, but it’s especially important for manufacturing companies. Being ISO-certified is a significant achievement that demonstrates compliance with high standards, which is crucial if you’re vying for international credibility and competitiveness. 

The most popular ISO certifications 

Many of the most popular ISO certifications relate to some of the biggest industries, as well as the best practices and products of the companies within these sectors.

3D illustration of a rubber stamp with the text ISO 9001 on a paper background

Companies that operate on an international level commonly obtain ISO certifications to project their competitive advantage. These certifications provide the necessary credibility that ensures their investors, customers, and other stakeholders can trust them. According to ISO, here are some of the most popular certifications:

  • ISO 900 family – One of the most well-known categories, the ISO 900 family encompasses the quality management standards for companies and other types of organisations, such as government agencies. Over one million certifications have been issued to private companies and public institutions on management systems across more than 170 countries. This category of standards is very generic and applies to all organisations and sectors.
  • ISO 14001 family – This is another popular ISO family that relates to environmental standards. It has multiple standards specific to certain issues, processes, and other aspects of the environmental impact of an organisation, for example, waste management. It’s a voluntary standard by which an environmental management system or EMS is established.
  • ISO 2700 – Launched in 2005, this is a fairly recent set of standards that are concerned with information technology. The main objective is to improve a company’s cyber security and digital assets. It also includes a standard for management-based systems and conduct.
  • ISO 5001 – This is one of the newest standards, released in 2011. It’s intended to encourage companies and other organisations to establish an energy management system to reduce their carbon footprint.

Why is ISO certification important for companies?

Companies that are vying for international recognition and competitiveness need ISO certification to prove they’re credible. However, there are also many other advantages of ISO certification for those companies who have it. For example, an ISO-certified company is considered to be highly efficient, meaning the company wastes less and is more profitable. This in turn makes the business more attractive to potential investors.

ISO certification is like a gateway to access the international or at least regional market. As previously described, some popular ISO certifications apply to almost all companies and organisations. Here are some of the basic ones:

ISO 9001

The ISO 9001 standard is considered to be the most basic and important certification standard that a company should follow. It refers to the quality management system of an organisation.

Businessman selecting graphic representation of ISO 9001

ISO 45000

This is a family of ISO standards that relate to occupational health and safety management standards for workers. It’s a crucial standard that is also enforceable through local laws and regulations. 

ISO 13485

ISO 13485 is a standard that establishes the quality standards for the manufacture, delivery, storage, and handling of medical devices.

What types of industries require ISO certifications?

All industries that want to achieve international recognition must obtain ISO certification. 

Although in most cases these standards are not directly legally binding at a local regulatory level, they are recognised by the various stakeholders in different industries and countries. As a result, they have similar powers to legally-binding local laws and international treaties. Here are some industries that must have ISO certifications:

  • Academic institutions of higher learning – these institutions, which include universities, colleges, and technology institutes, need to attract the best students and have a good ranking in their regular accreditations. Many course offers or academic programmes won’t be approved by governments or private accreditors if an academic institution is not ISO-certified.
  • Chemical manufacturing companieschemical manufacturers, such as ReAgent, that make chemicals for a variety of industries, need to hold certain ISO accreditations in order to comply with the stringent quality regulations that certain countries or industries demand. For example, ReAgent holds ISO 13485 as we manufacture chemicals for use in medical devices.
  • Medical equipment manufacturers – the products produced by these companies are vital to saving lives and maintaining human health. Hence, it’s essential that they comply with international standards. Each type or category of medical equipment and device has specific ISO standards, such as ISO 13485:2016.
  • Pharmaceutical companies – these are typically international or multinational companies that cater to the global market. It goes without saying that these businesses have to comply with international standards to ensure the safety and efficacy of their products.
  • Automotive manufacturers – whether catering to local or international markets, automotive manufacturers are governed by both local regulations and international standards. This is especially true for safety features. One of the oldest ISO standards is ISO/TS 16949 for the automotive industry.
  • Petroleum industry – these include refineries, petrochemical, and gas companies. These companies fall under ISO 29001:2020. The standards include codes relating to the storage, handling, and transportation of products, as well as management systems and safety protocols.
  • Software companies – these businesses are covered by ISO/IEC/IEEE 90003:2018. This is a very recent ISO standard that relates to the application of standards for software engineering and software products.

ReAgent’s ISO certifications ReAgent workers working in the factory

ReAgent currently holds four ISO accreditations: ISO 9001 for quality management, the ISO 14001 environmental certification, ISO 13485 for quality management systems relating to medical devices, and ISO 45001 for occupational health and safety.

If you’d like any further information about our ISO certifications, please feel free to contact us.


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