If you’re thinking about ISO 9001 certification then you are probably considering whether or not to engage an ISO 9001 Consultant to help develop, implement and internally audit the Quality Management System. Do you really need help?
The answer is as follows:
If you have in-house resources with the relevant experience and competence to build a best practice management system to meet the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 then there is every chance you may not need to engage an ISO Consultant to help build your management system. You could simply engage a Certification Body to undertake a Stage 1 documentation audit and then review and action the findings prior to moving on to Stage 2.
If, on the other hand, you want a fully documented, best practice management system, that has been developed in alignment with your existing business processes (making the standard work for the business instead of the business working to the standard) AND a guarantee that you will be certified first time, every time, then you should engage the services of an experienced, qualified ISO 9001 Consultant.
Remember: ISO 9001 provides a framework for continual improvement, and badly designed Quality Management Systems can introduce excessive administrative overheads (for example extra processes, a barrage of unnecessary forms etc) that act like a hand-brake on the business – definitely not an improvement.
10 key requirements to check for when choosing an ISO 9001 Consultant
Engaging an ISO 9001 Consultant can mean a significant financial and time investment for your business, so it is important to choose the right one. Here are the ten key requirements to check before you engage an ISO 9001 Consultant:
- ISO Certification – do they actually hold ISO 9001 certification themselves (ensure they are certified by a JAS-ANZ Accredited Certification Body)?
- ISO Certification Consultant qualifications – have they completed any formal training and are they qualified to be offering consultancy services?
- Industry experience – how long have they been consulting for? What industries have then consulted to previously?
- Experience designing management systems to businesses of your size (small, medium, large and enterprise Quality Management Systems can look very different),
- Knowledge of lean methods to ensure your management system improves business performance and does not stifle it,
- Insurances – do they hold Public Liability and Professional indemnity insurance?
- Client Referrals – do they have an extensive list of satisfied, repeat and long-term clients that are happy to provide glowing testimonials?
- Certification Body Referrals – can a number of JAS-ANZ accredited certification bodies attest to the quality of the management systems and consultancy services offered?
- How long have they been in business (beware of fly-by-nighters)?
- Are they able to set up the management system using cloud-based software solutions or tailor the management system to align with your existing software platforms?
For a free downloadable ISO Consultant Checklist CLICK HERE
What to watch out for when choosing an ISO 9001 Consultant
ISO 9001 Consultants that have worked in a “Quality” or “Safety” role within a large organisation. This does not necessarily mean they are able to design a good small to medium business Management System. In fact, sometimes this results in a rebadged, overweight quality management system that the small business will struggle to support.
If an ISO consultant insists you choose a specific certification body then alarm bells should start ringing. This may mean that the consultant and the Certification Body have some sort of financial relationship or dependency which can result in a number of conflict of interest issues including:
- the system might be deficient and the ISO 9001 audit could be completed softly due to the relationship between consultant and auditor (a problem that may not present now but may cause problems if/when you change Certification Bodies), or
- you may be paying too much for the Certification Body audit.
Always make sure:
- you choose a JAS-ANZ accredited Certification Body (we recommend obtaining a few proposals – SEE HERE for more information),
- you aren’t locked into a specific Certification Body just because you engage an ISO consultant.
How QAS International can help
QAS International ISO 9001 Consultants can design, develop and implement a certification-ready Quality Management System from the ground up to meet ISO 9001 requirements. If you already have an existing management system in place we will help you integrate ISO 9001:2015 into your current management system (eg ISO 45001 Safety or ISO 14001 Environmental) to form an Integrated Management System (IMS).
Our trained and experienced ISO Certification Consultants have a 100% track record achieving certification for our clients and we guarantee your ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System will get certified by a JAS-ANZ accredited Certification Body.
QAS Certification Consultants can also help develop, implement and internally audit other ISO Management Systems such as:
- ISO 45001 Occupational Health & Safety
- ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems
- ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems
- ISO 55001 Asset Management Systems
- ISO 17025 Testing & Calibration for Laboratories
- ISO 27001 Information Security
- ISO 22000 HACCP Food Safety
Contact Us Today
If you’d like more information on our ISO Consulting Services, or to request a Quick Quote please use the form to the right and one of our Consultants will contact you within one business day. Alternatively, you are welcome to contact us directly on 1800 676 910 or by emailing [email protected]
We look forward to hearing from you and answering any questions you may have. CLICK HERE for a copy of our Capability Statement.
- If you still aren’t sure whether or not you need an ISO 9001 Consultant then it may be worth completing a Gap Analysis Audit.
- For information on what is required for ISO 9001 Certification CLICK HERE
- To see what ISO 9001 Certification Costs CLICK HERE
- Did you know our ISO Consultants can also help with Smartsheet solutions for ISO Certification? For more information CLICK HERE