Raising awareness of the benefits of certification and assurance services


Accredited certification benefits

An investigation of the willingness of UK certificated firms to recommend ISO 9000

International Journal of Quality & Reliability MgtAn investigation of the willingness of UK certificated firms to recommend ISO 9000’, (Buttle, 1996), explores the willingness of organisations certified to ISO 9000 to recommend it to other organisations.

The research is based on questionnaires returned by 1220 certified organisations (a 28.7% rate of return), 53% of who were in the manufacturing sector, 34% from the service sector and 10% in construction. The size of the organizations varied from sole traders to over 500 employees.

A simple question was asked as to whether organisations would be willing to recommend the standard to similar companies. From ‘strongly discourage’ scoring 1, through the mid-score of 4 for ‘neither recommend nor discourage’ to ‘strongly recommend’ meriting a 7, the mean rating was 4.79, with 60% of respondents stating some level of willingness to recommend.

In order to help understand what might be the reasons for the willingness to recommend the standard, the research asked what benefits the organisations had realised from ISO 9000 certification. The top ten reasons are seen in the table below:

Benefit of ISO 9000 certification


Improved efficiency


Improved awareness of procedural problems


Better management control


Using standard a promotional tool


Increasing customer satisfaction


Improving customer service


Facilitating elimination of procedural problems


Improving staff motivation


Keeping existing customers


Gaining new customers


As the report states ‘This analysis indicates that the benefits most valued are those related to profitability, the second most value benefited are those connected with process improvement, the third most valued are the marketing benefits’.

The report’s conclusion is that ‘By and large, certificated companies are prepared to recommend the standard to other, similar organisations. Willingness to recommend is highly correlated with satisfaction with the impacts of the standard on the organisation and expectations having been me’.

Paper available for purchase


  • Buttle, F. (1996), ‘An investigation of the willingness of UK certificated firms to recommend ISO 9000)’, International Journal of Quality Science, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp 40-50.

Manchester Business School (Buttle)