In April 2000 H-P Products, Inc. became certified to ISO 9001. This standard assures the highest quality in business operations, from sales to manufacturing. H-P's entire quality system was audited and certified by Smithers Quality Assessments, Inc. (SQA), a leading independent accredited registrar.

What is ISO?
ISO is the International Organization for Standardization. It is located in Switzerland and was established in 1947 to develop common international standards in many areas. Its members come from over 162 national standards bodies. ISO's purpose is to facilitate international trade by providing a single set of standards that people everywhere would recognize and respect.

ISO 9001 presents requirements for a quality system. These requirements are process standards - not product standards.

These process standards apply to all kinds of organizations in all kinds of areas. Some of these areas include manufacturing, processing, servicing, printing, etc.

How does ISO Quality System Certification Work?
A company decides that it needs to develop a quality management system that meets the new ISO Standards in order to control or improve the quality of their products and services, to reduce the costs associated with poor quality, and to become more competitive. A quality management system that meets the requirements specified by ISO 9001 is then developed.

Once the quality system has been fully developed and implemented, an internal audit is conducted to ensure that every requirement of the ISO-9001 Standard has been met.

When all requirements have been addressed, the company asks a Registrar to audit the effectiveness of the quality management system. If the auditors agree that the system is properly developed, implemented and functioning effectively, they will certify that the quality system has met ISO's requirements. They will then issue an official certificate to the company and record its achievement in their registry. A company can then state that the quality of their products and services is managed, controlled, and assured by a registered ISO 9001 Quality Management System.

Surveillance audits are conducted at least annually by an outside third-party assessment company. This assures our customers that H-P Products is maintaining the systems needed to produce quality products on a consistent basis.

Why is ISO Quality System Certification Important?
ISO Quality System Certification is important because of its international orientation. Currently, national standards bodies from more than 162 countries support ISO Quality System Certification. This makes it the logical choice for any organization that does business internationally or that serves customers who demand an international standard of quality.

ISO is also important because of its systemic orientation. Unless a company establishes a quality attitude by creating a quality system, it will never achieve a world-class standard of quality. Simply put, if a company wants to have a quality attitude it must have a quality system. This is what ISO recognizes and why ISO Quality System Certification is important.