Raising awareness of the benefits of certification and assurance services


Accredited certification benefits

The state of ISO 9000 certification: A study of Swedish organisations

The TQM Journal

The report, ‘The state of ISO 9000 certification: A study of Swedish organisations(Poksinska, Dahlgaard, Antoni 2002), is based on a survey carried out in October 2000 of 135 Swedish companies certified to ISO 9000 and/or ISO 14000. The research looked to understand two key issues: 1. the motivation for seeking certification; 2. perceived outcomes of certification.

The most significant certification motives were found to be:

  1. corporate image (83% important or very important)
  2. quality improvement (81%)
  3. marketing advantage (66%)
  4. customer pressure (53%)
  5. cost reductions (38%)


Secondly, in stating the benefits companies perceived they had obtained from certification…

  1. 8% had experienced very substantial benefits from ISO 9000 certification
  2. 50% had substantial benefits
  3. 35% moderate benefits.


Specifically, the top three benefits were…

  1. 72% of firms had improved their internal procedures
  2. 67% had perceived substantial or very substantial improvements in quality
  3. Substantial or very substantial improvements regarding corporate image (73% of the 83% who stated it as their main motivator)


Overall, ‘The most important conclusion drawn from this survey is that the motivation for certification may influence the performance of ISO 9000. The overall benefits which the companies gain from the standard showed dependence on the motivation which initiated the drive for the certification’. This gives a clear message that the greatest benefits to be achieved out of certification are gained by companies who enter the process with positive objectives and clear goals.

Paper available to purchase


  • Poksinska, B., Dahlgaard, J.J., Antoni, M., (2002), ‘The state of ISO 9000 certification: A study of Swedish organisations’, The TQM Magazine, Volume 14, Number 5.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, International Graduate School of Management and Industrial Engineering (IMIE), Linkoping University (Poksinska, Dahlgaard, Antoni)