How to win contracts with ISO certification

Is your business applying for tendered work or exploring frameworks that require you to be ISO certified? Are you wondering how to win contracts with ISO certification?

We have worked with hundreds of clients across the UK and beyond; supporting them in gaining certification to tender for large projects and become listed on approved supplier lists.

We offer individual certifications or an integrated management system encompassing a range of standards. An integrated management system combines all aspects of an organisation’s systems, processes, and standards. This integration allows for a much more streamlined approach and can be a cost-effective way of becoming certified.

Additional benefits for businesses that have ISO certifications in place include; higher chances of getting more contracts, increasing sales, and retaining more customers. Since ISO is one of the most trusted entities in enforcing standards of high quality, it’s one of the most sought-after standards, globally.

Win contracts with ISO certification: ISO Certifications that Compliant offer:

When considering how to win contracts with ISO certification it is vital to choose the right certification for your bid. Here are our most popular standards:

ISO 9001

ISO 9001 is the internationally ISO standard recognised for quality management.

Organisations that hold an ISO 9001 certificate are recognised in the UK and internationally for high quality in the way that their business is managed.

ISO 14001

ISO 14001 sets the standard for Environmental Management Systems.

Reduce waste management costs and demonstrate your commitment to protecting the environment with the ISO 14001 certification.

ISO 22301

ISO 22301 sets the standard for security and resilience. Business continuity management systems.

This international standard details the requirements of a business continuity management system (BCMS). It enables organizations to prepare for disruptive incidents that might otherwise prevent them from achieving their objectives.

ISO 27001

ISO 27001 is the internationally recognised standard for information security management proficiency.

ISO 27001 certification demonstrates that your business has systems in place to protect corporate information and data, whether this is online or offline.

ISO 45001

The ISO 45001 Standard for Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) provides organisations with a solution to better manage health and safety risks, while reducing associated costs.

Released in March 2018, the standard replaces OHSAS 18001 and allows management system integration with other ISO standards, which provides a more streamlined approach to multiple system management.

win contracts with ISO certification

Win contracts with ISO certification: not sure which ISO Certification is required?

Tender bid results may be greatly impacted by ISO 9001 Certification.

Customer satisfaction, which is typically fuelled by the consistency and dependability of products or services, is a requirement for business growth. While it’s necessary to keep your current clients satisfied, it’s also critical to attract new clients and expand your market share.

In most cases showcasing performance evaluation including customer satisfaction is a critical part of tender submissions. Demonstrating how you collect feedback and take actions to improve processes on customer complaints will set your business apart.

Having an ISO certification in place also crucially backs up your professional accomplishments with evidence. Case studies, recommendations, and testimonies support your assertions and improve your proposals.

When applying for large contracts or tendered work you must present the finest possible picture of what your business can offer the customer. It’s worth checking to see if any Local Authorities or Chambers of Commerce are hosting events in your region if you’re new to the tendering process. These events discuss the procurement process and frequently provide sneak peeks at impending projects. Additionally, they reveal what purchasers are searching for and the locations where they intend to post their tenders.

Numerous councils and other organisations maintain a list of authorised providers or approved suppliers. While this simplifies their lives, it does imply that the companies already on the list are frequently asked to submit quotes first.

Here are 5 ways that having ISO 9001 in place can help businesses to win more tenders:

  1. Ensures that your business meets pre-set criteria

When submitting a bid for a public contract, ISO 9001 certification is frequently required. The public sector can demonstrate that it is wisely using the funds provided by taxpayers by requesting ISO 9001 from contractors. Certification is self-evident. It enables public sector organisations to feel secure knowing that your business possesses the necessary certifications for quality.

  1. Provides confidence in the standard of your business’ services or goods.

Due to the Standard’s capacity to consistently deliver goods and services that live up to expectations, ISO 9001 certification can boost confidence among potential new customers. Your company may confidently compete for both public and commercial contracts with ISO 9001 certification since it shows that your organisation consistently meets a high standard of quality.

  1. Provides a positive company image

Although having ISO 9001 certification may not always be necessary in the public sector, it frequently increases your chances of winning tendered work. Promote the benefits of having an ISO 9001 certification. Put yourself in the reader’s position and stress the significance of the certification. It is probable that some bidders’ readers are unfamiliar with the standard, so you shouldn’t just say that your company complies with ISO 9001.

Instead, provide a brief but thorough analysis of what your compliance will ensure if your bid is accepted. For example, as a requirement of ISO 9001 you must record all procedures and processes and show how you communicate these to staff members including records of who is responsible for which areas of the business in contribution to the standard.

  1. Ensures compliance with PQQs

Pre-Qualification Questionnaires (PQQs) are frequently used to narrow the field of suppliers invited to tender, especially when operating in the public sector. Similar to this, PQQs are a component of the restricted bidding process where a specific level of technical proficiency is required.

PQQs will often request ISO 9001 certification. You’ll probably have to put in twice as much effort as your accredited competitors in the early stages of the bid to demonstrate that your procedures are of equivalent calibre if you don’t have ISO 9001 certification in place. ISO 9001 showcases every aspect of your business from leadership and planning to performance evaluation and improvements.

  1. Gives your business a better chance against competitors

As mentioned above you might need to put in twice as much effort as your accredited competitors to demonstrate that your procedures are of equivalent level of ISO 9001 certified suppliers. Certification can massively support your application if you are bidding to join a big supply chain.

Companies all around the business world benefit significantly from ISO 9001. Larger rivals are almost probably certified to ISO 9001 standards. Therefore, having your own certification can significantly level the playing field. ISO 9001 is recognised all around the world. It can make all the difference in a bidding war, as the standard offers a common, corporate language.


As suggested having ISO 9001 certification will have a big impact on your capacity to be chosen as a supplier if you are trying to bid on and win tenders, especially if you’re bidding for work in the public sector.

Implementing ISO 9001 will make bidding on government business much easier. Successive governments have vowed to streamline the tendering processes to make them similar across local, regional, and government departments, but in practice this hasn’t happened. Even in the private sector, criteria differ greatly. For more information on how to win contracts with ISO certification read on.

ISO Certification for tenders

Win contracts with ISO certification: What procurement teams look at when considering suppliers

Reviewing how to win contracts with ISO certification? You need to consider what a procurement team will be reviewing when considering your business.

Procurement teams will be confident that they are selecting a productive, efficient company when choosing a contract supplier with ISO 9001 certification in place. The best level of customer service, safety, and order fulfilment speed are guaranteed by ISO certification.

The requirement that a supplier focuses on continual improvement in customer service and satisfaction is the most crucial aspect of ISO 9001. ISO 9001 certified businesses must constantly evaluate customer feedback for ways to enhance customer service and product quality.

An ISO certified business demonstrates that they pay attention to several crucial areas including:

  • Maintain an emphasis on high-quality production or service delivery across management and staff.
  • All services and procedures should be improved, streamlined, and documented.
  • To uphold the promise to preserve productivity, cut waste, and save money whenever possible.
  • Enhance the consistency of all business activities, from the office to the factory floor.
  • Boost staff morale while enhancing overall corporate performance.

Win contracts with ISO certification: why choose ISO certification

What standards should your business choose when considering how to win contracts with ISO certification or should other accreditations be reviewed?

The largest global developer of voluntary, internationally accepted Quality Management Systems is the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) (QMS). Accreditation is most frequently sought in the areas of quality, the environment, health and safety, and information management.

Having ISO in place is recommended for industries such as aerospace, food and beverage, automotive, cosmetics, and medicine. ISO’s popular standards adhere to:

  1. Customer: Making sure that your customers are at the centre of everything you do
  2. Leadership: Ensuring that top level management are recorded and held responsible for setting strategy and policy.
  3. Employee Engagement: Guiding employee empowerment to maximise effectiveness.
  4. Planning: Delivering consistent and predictable results during the process.
  5. Operation: proof of validity and that conclusions are supported by data, facts, and knowledge
  6. Performance Evaluation: Ongoing development and improvement.
  7. Improvement: Managing and improving relationships with internal and external stakeholders
Winning contracts with ISO certification

What other factors procurement teams might consider

If you are already certified, have you thought about which other factors procurement teams might consider? Have you considered how you might win contracts with ISO certification and specific aspects of your certifications?

Procurement teams are likely to review whether there were any reported problems that required adjustment in your most recent ISO certification assessment. The mere fact that a company has ISO 9001 certification does not guarantee that they have properly maintained that status since their last audit, and a dishonest company could be concealing the fact that their certification is at risk.

Those reviewing your submission may delve into your certification and previous audit reports to analyse your business’ strengths and weaknesses.

You should have a history of successful audits, be transparent and honest about your ISO certification, and demonstrate your competence. If you need support in improving from a previously unsuccessful audit, we can help. Our dedicated team of auditors are trained to know exactly to close out ‘nonconformities’ and ‘opportunities for improvement’ that arise from audits.

Deciding to invest in more than one ISO certification

The three standards that are most frequently implemented together are ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO 45001.

If your business already has ISO 9001 certification, ISO 14001 will be familiar to you in terms of its structure and communication. However, depending on the sort of organisation you run, ISO 14001 may or may not be as important when applying for tendered work. ISO 14001 focuses on establishing your green credentials and demonstrates that you are measuring and controlling your influence on the environment.

ISO 45001 demonstrates a business’ commitment to health and safety and is particularly important for those businesses delivering construction or manufacturing services or trying to get onto the NHS’ framework. One client we supported in getting onto the NHS framework was Enigma Medical Solutions. Check out their case study here.

Another standard growing in popularity is ISO 27001. Having ISO 27001 in place may be essential if security is a top priority. Since its release in 2005, ISO 27001, which addresses all facets of security for the physical placement of hardware through personnel, the general public, premises, and data, has emerged as a critical component in many tenders.

Similar in structure to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, ISO 27001 is now a global standard accepted by Governments and used by some of the largest organisations in the world. However, a small business can benefit just as much from adopting this standard.

Investing in an integrated management system to win contracts with ISO certification

Clients who partner with Compliant for one or more of their UKAS accredited ISO certifications often make the transition to an integrated management system. The benefits include:

  1. Costs and time needed to implement and maintain various management systems are significantly reduced
  2. Procedures are streamlined and productivity increased
  3. Aligned systems ensure consistency across the board

All of our standards are UKAS accredited. For more information on UKAS vs non UKAS check out a recent video of ours here.

Get started with Compliant

Having ISO certification in place ensures that an organisation benefits by benchmarking how they conduct business. It also speeds up and simplifies the tendering process by allowing businesses to check the appropriate boxes for a variety of questions in bid documents.

Compliant will go the extra step in an initial teams meeting to fully understand your business, its requirements, the structure of the management system required, the organisational context and which bids or tendered work you are considering. We will then submit all your information to one of our preferred certification body partners.

We have a proven record and offer flexible payment plans and can pass cost savings from certifications bodies directly onto our customers.

If you would like a FREE quotation simply complete our FREE quote calculator here.