Raising awareness of the benefits of certification and assurance services


Accredited certification benefits

The true motives behind ISO 9000 certification

International Journal of Quality & Reliability MgtThe true motives behind ISO 9000 certification‘ (Gotzamani, Tsiotras, 2002) examines the key issue of how the value of certifying to a management system standard is enhanced by the manner in which the organisation strives to achieve that certification. The paper explains, ‘long-term effectiveness and real value of the quality assurance standards is not based on their content and requirements but on the way that companies adopt and implement these requirements. The key for their success lies in the companies’ real commitment to quality improvement and their true motives for certification, which finally dictate the way and depth to which the standards are implemented’.

The report highlights ‘companies that see in the standards an opportunity for organising and improving their internal operations, and finally, their quality, can really benefit from the process by creating a dynamic and ever improving quality system that may evolve in a TQM system’.

The work in the report was based on research from a 20 page questionnaire received from quality assurance professionals in 84 Greek companies certified by ELOT (Greek organisation for standardisation) to ascertain the motives for certification and the overall operational and other benefits of certification.

The results of this were as follows, starting with the motives for certification (average scores based on ranking of 5 – very high reason for certification; 4 – high; 3- moderate; 2 – low; 1 – very low; 0 – not at all):

  1. Part of overall quality policy (4.21)
  2. Quality improvement of final products (4.05)
  3. Quality improvement of internal operations (3.93)
  4. Future customer demand (3.63)
  5. Competitive advantage (3.51)
  6. Improvement of internal communication (3.45)
  7. Introduction to TQM (3.35)
  8. Entry to foreign markets (3.32)
  9. Customer demand (2.46)
  10. Certification of competitors (1.26)


The very low scores in the last two motives prove that certification in the Greek industry came mainly as a result of internal motivation for real improvement, instead of companies’ pressure or enforcement towards this direction’.

Secondly, results for the perceived beneficial outcomes of certification:

  1. Improvement of internal organisation and operation (3.89)
  2. Development of quality culture (3.77)
  3. Final product quality improvement (3.70)
  4. Improved customer satisfaction (3.62)
  5. Better communication with customers (3.58)
  6. Improved competitive position (3.55)
  7. Development of teamwork (3.48)
  8. Improved employee-management relationships (3.39)
  9. Less rework and waste (3.29)
  10. Better relationships with employees (3.28)


‘The results prove that ISO 9000 standards really set a strong basis for companies’ organisation, since improvement of internal organisation and operation is proved to be their first and most important benefit’.

The chief conclusion of this study relates to the effect of certification motives on certification benefits, the research ‘prove(s) for Greek industry that the motives leading companies to certification, which to a high degree determine the way and depth to which the standards are implemented, are related with the overall benefits that companies gain from it’. The report finally states that ‘The standards’ contribution is proved to be higher for companies that implement them focusing mainly on true quality improvement of their internal operation and their final products/services’.

Paper available to purchase


  • Gotzamani, K., Tsiotras, G., (2002), ‘The true motives behind ISO 9000 certification’, International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp 151-169.

Department of Business Administration, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece (Gotzamani, Tsiotras)