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Government tenders require submission of various documents, some mandatory and others optional (e.g., documents you may submit to highlight your business’s strengths). An ISO certification is one of such documents that can add weightage to you bid.


But is it necessary to have an ISO certificate to win a tender? What weightage does it add to your bid? To get answers to these questions, let us first understand what an ISO certificate is.

What is an ISO certification in the tendering process?

What is an ISO registration? The full form of ISO is International Organization for Standardization.

In simple terms, an ISO certification confirms that your company follows certain industry wide accepted standards. As the name suggests, it is widely accepted and internationally recognised. Hence, customers are assured of quality of the products and processes followed. In other words, it improves your credibility.

Some of the popular categories of ISO certifications

  • ISO 9001 – Quality Management Systems (QMS)
  • ISO 13485 – Medical Device QMS
  • ISO 14001 – Environmental Management Systems
  • ISO 45001 – Occupational Health and Safety
  • ISO 50001 – Energy Management Systems
  • ISO 26000 – Social Responsibility Guidance Standard
  • ISO 28000 – Supply Chain Security Management System
  • ISO 22000 – Food Safety Management Systems
  • ISO 27001 – Information Security Management Systems

Is ISO certificate necessary for tender?

ISO certification is not necessary unless the tender announcement specifically mentions it. However, having an ISO certification can give you an edge over your competitors. Here is how.

  • As mentioned before, ISO certificate improves your credibility. It certifies that you follow standard procedures in your organisation and that builds trust. The buyer can rest assured that deliverables will meet the quality expectations or go beyond. This helps in improving customer experience and achieve customer satisfaction.
  • From some tenders, ISO certification is essential as it is a part of the eligibility criteria. In this case, having an ISO certificate makes you eligible for such tenders while your competitors may not have it, and hence competition is automatically eliminated. Lesser competition increases your chances of winning.
  • ISO certification indicates that you follow good business practices and are committed to match high standards. In other words, it builds a good reputation over your competitors and helps you to generate more business.

How best to use ISO certification in the tendering process?

  • If ISO certification falls under the eligibility criteria in the tender, do not forget to attach a copy of the certificate along with other documents. In the tender evaluation process, non-compliant bidders will be eliminated, reducing the competition.
  • In case ISO certification is not an eligibility criterion, ensure that you are mentioning your ISO certification number in all appropriate sections. It still confirms that your business is dedicated to meet high standards.
  • Along with the copy of the ISO certificate, you can also mention benefits of you having an ISO certificate to the customer. For example, if you have an ISO 9001 certification, you can mention that since your organisaton follows highest quality management standards, consistent high quality standard products are ensured for customers.

To sum up

Having an ISO certification is a sign of good business practices and depicts that your business is committed to meet high standards and deliver quality. Whether in a tendering process or otherwise, it will always give a competitive advantage to your business.

Swati Deshpande

Swati is a passionate content writer with more than 10 years of experience crafting content for the business and manufacturing sectors, and helping MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) navigate complexities in steel procurement, and business services. Her clear and informative writing empowers MSMEs to make informed decisions and thrive in the competitive landscape.