This article explains the process to choose the right consultant to help your business achieve ISO certification, driving the performance and increasing customer satisfaction.

Getting ISO certified has become a prime objective for businesses. Once a business is well established and enjoys consistent annual returns, it needs to provide more value to its customers and stakeholders by assuring quality. ISO 9001 certification for quality assurance and ISO 14001 certification for environmental regulation are just two ISO standards that will help to increase your business growth. It is essential to engage specialized ISO consultants who will help your business get certified with a particular standard or standards.

Finding competent certification consultants is challenging because they need to properly understand your business and implement an integrated management system to ensure compliance with the ISO standard. To help with the decision process, the following points show some parameters that should be considered when searching for consultants.

Depth of Knowledge and Level of Expertise

The first thing to check in the potential team of consultants is their professional experience and depth of knowledge. Do they have the expertise to get your business ISO 9001 certified, implement ISO 27001 certification, or any other ISO standards? Check their track record, or the number of businesses they have helped, certifications they have provided, and the industries or fields they served.

Timeframes and Costs of Services

Cost or pricing is a key consideration when picking a team of ISO consultants, however, timeframe is also very important. Although it is necessary to ensure you stay below budget for the certification and get affordable services, some consultants that charge lower rates may take a very long time to ensure your company is compliant with the chosen ISO standard. Therefore, look for a consultant team that can provide a clear timeframe and milestones for the completion of the certification process.

Trust and Communication

Certification does not happen overnight. There are a number of steps involved, like documentation and implementation of the management system, pre-assessment, gap analysis, and auditing. Naturally, the process is time-consuming. The ISO consultants will be helping you with every step, however, it is essential that they are reliable, and the communication channels are suitably open. Ensuring good communication will allow you to stay updated on progress during certification, and any modifications that the consultants suggest. Look for the team that is open to many types of communication, is reachable, and is trusted by their clients.

Customized Services

The consultants must be able to provide all the services for ISO certification, but customize them to your business. Every business has unique processes or operation models; however, it is important that the consultants understand these disparities and use them to create a customized management system. Also, they cannot simply follow a similar process of auditing for every business. If that happens, you might get stuck with a case of non-conformance because they may miss the error during their pre-audit. Therefore, hiring ISO certification consultants who are able to provide customized service is an important consideration.

Whether you need ISO 9001 certification, ISO 14001 certification, or maintenance services for an existing ISO certification, hire consultants who meet these conditions. You may have to spend some time finding the right consultants, however, it is absolutely worthwhile. They will ensure that ISO certification is a value-added process by improving your business’ key performance indicators.

Author's Bio: 

Damon Anderson is a professional ISO certification consultant who has extensive experience in providing certification to businesses in diverse industries. From ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certification to ISO 45001 and ISO 27001 certification, he has helped businesses to acquire many certifications.