ISO certification in India refers to the certification provided by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for various management systems and standards. ISO certification demonstrates that a company adheres to internationally recognized standards in terms of quality, safety, environmental management, information security, and other areas.

In India, obtaining ISO certification involves following a set of processes and meeting specific criteria outlined by the ISO standard relevant to the organization's industry or operations. Some common ISO certifications sought by Indian businesses include:

1. ISO 9001: Quality Management System (QMS) - This standard focuses on ensuring that an organization consistently provides products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements.

2. ISO 14001: Environmental Management System (EMS) - It sets out criteria for an environmental management system to help organizations improve their environmental performance through more efficient use of resources and reduction of waste.

3. ISO 45001: Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS) - This standard helps organizations provide safe and healthy workplaces by preventing work-related injuries and ill health, as well as proactively improving OH&S performance.

4. ISO 27001: Information Security Management System (ISMS) - It specifies requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving an information security management system within the context of the organization.

5. ISO 22000: Food Safety Management System (FSMS) - This standard ensures food safety throughout the food chain, from production to consumption.

To obtain ISO certification in India, organizations typically undergo an audit by an accredited certification body to assess their compliance with the relevant ISO standard. Once the organization meets all the requirements, it receives the ISO certification, which is valid for a specified period, usually subject to regular audits to ensure ongoing compliance.


The objectives of ISO certification in India, as in any other country, are multifaceted and aimed at enhancing various aspects of organizational performance and credibility. Here are some key objectives:

  1. Quality Improvement: ISO certification, particularly ISO 9001, focuses on implementing quality management systems (QMS) that help organizations improve their processes, products, and services. By adhering to ISO standards, companies can enhance customer satisfaction and confidence in their products and services.
  2. International Recognition: ISO certification provides organizations with international recognition, signaling to customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders that they meet globally accepted standards for quality, safety, environmental management, and other relevant criteria.
  3. Market Access and Competitiveness: ISO certification can open up new markets and opportunities for businesses by demonstrating their commitment to quality, safety, and environmental responsibility. Many customers, especially in sectors like manufacturing and services, prefer to work with ISO-certified suppliers, giving certified organizations a competitive advantage.
  4. Risk Management: ISO standards such as ISO 27001 (Information Security Management System) and ISO 45001 (Occupational Health and Safety Management System) help organizations identify and manage risks related to information security, workplace safety, and other critical areas, thereby reducing the likelihood of incidents and improving resilience.
  5. Cost Reduction: Implementing ISO standards often leads to more efficient processes, reduced waste, and improved resource utilization. This can result in cost savings for organizations over time, making them more financially sustainable and competitive.
  6.  Legal and Regulatory Compliance: ISO certification helps organizations ensure compliance with relevant legal and regulatory requirements in India and other jurisdictions where they operate. This can mitigate the risk of fines, penalties, and legal disputes associated with non-compliance.

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS): Ensuring Quality and Safety in India

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), established in 1986, serves as the national body for standardization, certification, and marking of goods and services in India. It plays a pivotal role in ensuring the quality, safety, reliability, and efficiency of products manufactured and sold in the country.

Key Functions of BIS

  1. Developing and Adopting Standards: BIS adopts international standards or develops its own Indian Standards (IS) to serve as benchmarks for various products, processes, and services. These standards cover a wide range of sectors, including engineering goods, electronics, chemicals, food products, textiles, and management systems.
  2. Product Certification: BIS operates a product certification scheme where manufacturers can voluntarily get their products tested and certified against relevant Indian Standards. This certification assures consumers that the product meets specific safety, quality, and performance criteria.
  3. Hallmarking Scheme: BIS implements a hallmarking scheme for precious metal articles like gold and silver jewelry. This scheme ensures the purity and fineness of the metal content, protecting consumers from fraud and providing them with confidence in their purchases.
  4. Testing and Calibration: BIS operates a network of laboratories across India equipped to conduct tests on various products to verify their compliance with Indian Standards. They also offer calibration services for measuring instruments to ensure their accuracy.
  5. Consumer Awareness: BIS actively promotes consumer awareness about standardization and product certification. They educate consumers on the benefits of looking for the BIS mark on products and how it signifies quality and safety.

Benefits of BIS Certification

  1. Enhanced Market Credibility: BIS certification signifies a product's adherence to established quality standards, boosting brand reputation and consumer trust. This can lead to increased market share and sales potential.
  2. Global Recognition: BIS certification often aligns with international standards, facilitating easier export of products and greater acceptance in global markets.
  3. Compliance with Regulations: In some industries, BIS certification might be mandatory by law for products to be legally manufactured and sold in India.
  4. Improved Quality Management: The process of obtaining BIS certification often necessitates improvements in a company's quality management systems, leading to greater efficiency and consistency in production.

Limitations of BIS Certification

  1. Voluntary Participation: While BIS certification offers significant benefits, it's generally a voluntary process for manufacturers. This means there can be products in the market that haven't undergone BIS certification.
  2. Time and Cost: Obtaining BIS certification can be a time-consuming and expensive process, involving factory inspections, product testing, and documentation. This can be a hurdle for small and medium-sized enterprises.
  3. Focus on Products: BIS primarily focuses on product standards and certification. While management system standards like ISO exist under BIS, their promotion might not be as extensive.

BIS and the Indian Economy

The role of BIS is crucial for India's economic development. By ensuring product quality and safety, BIS fosters consumer confidence, promotes fair trade practices, and encourages the production of globally competitive goods.  Furthermore, it contributes to:

  • Reduced health risks: Stringent product safety standards help minimize the risk of injuries or health hazards associated with substandard products.
  • Environmental protection: Standards that promote resource efficiency and minimize environmental impact are crucial for sustainable development.
  • Increased exports: Products meeting international standards through BIS certification have a higher chance of success in the global market, boosting India's export potential.


The Bureau of Indian Standards plays a vital role in safeguarding consumer interests and fostering a quality-conscious manufacturing ecosystem in India. While challenges like broader awareness and accessibility remain, BIS continues to evolve and adapt, playing a critical role in propelling India towards a future driven by quality and innovation.

Process of ISO Certification in India:

ISO stands for the International Organization for Standardization. It's an independent group that sets standards for the quality, safety, and effectiveness of products and services offered by businesses. As competition among businesses grows, it's crucial to provide top-notch goods and services to stay competitive. ISO certification boosts your business's reputation and enhances its overall efficiency.

Pre-Requisite to ISO Certification Process in India

Choosing the type of ISO Certification:

Initially, you must select the specific ISO certification suitable for your business needs. These certifications include

  • ISO 9001 2008 for Quality Management,
  • ISO 14001 for Environmental Management,
  • ISO 27001 for Information Security Management,
  • ISO 22008 for Food Safety Management, among others.

Choosing an ISO Certification Body:

ISO doesn't directly certify companies; instead, external bodies handle certification. It's crucial to select a reputable and credible certification body. When choosing an ISO registrar, consider the following:

1. Evaluate multiple ISO certification service providers.

2. Ensure they adhere to CASCO standards, set by the ISO committee for conformity assessment.

3. Check if they're accredited. While accreditation isn't mandatory, they should meet ISO Accreditation bodies' requirements.

Process for ISO Certification in India:

  1. Establish a contract/ application:

The applicant and the registrar need to create a contract. This contract outlines the rights and responsibilities of both parties and covers aspects such as liability, confidentiality, and access rights.

  1.  Review of quality documents.

The ISO auditor will examine all your quality manuals and documents concerning the policies and procedures implemented in the organization. This review will assist the ISO auditor in identifying any potential discrepancies compared to the requirements outlined in the ISO standards.

  1. Make an  Action Plan:

Once the ISO auditor identifies any gaps in your organization, you should develop an action plan to address these gaps. This plan should include a list of tasks needed to implement the necessary changes in your organization. You may need to provide training to your employees to ensure they can work efficiently under the new procedures. Additionally, ensure all employees are informed about the ISO standards related to work efficiency and quality standards.

  1. Initial Certification Audit:

The initial certification audit consists of two stages: Stage 1 and Stage 2.

Stage 1: During Stage 1, the ISO auditor evaluates the changes implemented by your organization. They identify any potential non-conformity in your systems and procedures compared to the desired quality management system. These non-conformities are categorized as minor or major. The applicant must carefully review these non-conformities and ensure they are aligned with the desired quality standards through adjustments to the organization's techniques and processes.

Stage 2: Once all necessary changes have been made in the organization, the ISO auditor conducts the final audit during Stage 2. The auditor verifies whether all non-conformities have been resolved according to ISO quality standards. If the ISO auditor is satisfied with the outcome, they will prepare the final ISO audit report and submit it to the registrar.

  1. Completing the ISO Certification:

Once all non-conformities are resolved and documented in the ISO audit report, the registrar will issue the ISO certification to your organization.

6. Surveillance Audits:

A survillance audit is performed periodically to verify that the orgnization is consistently upholding ISO quality standards. 

  1. Cost involved in the ISO Certification Process:

The expenses associated with obtaining ISO certification are not uniform and differ for each organization. The ISO certification agency evaluates the cost of certification individually for each organization, taking into account various factors such as:

- Workforce size

- Operational processes

- Risk level related to the organization's service scope

- Complexity of the management system

- Number of working shifts, among other considerations.


  1. Time involved in the ISO Certification Process:

The duration for completing the ISO certification process varies depending on the organization. The ISO certification agency can provide an estimate after evaluating the company's size. Typically, the timeframes for ISO certification are approximately:

- Small organizations: 6-8 months

- Medium organizations: 8-12 months

- Large organizations: 12-15 months.

Article by 

Ayush Gupta a legal Intern at Corpzo