Do you need help with ISO? Do you have a list of ISO questions that you’d like answered? We have compiled a list of frequently asked ISO questions relating to the certification process, but should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch and we will endeavour to answer it.
What is ISO Certification?
ISO certification certifies that a management system, manufacturing process, service or documentation procedure conforms to the right standard and quality assurance. The ISO, otherwise known as the International Organisation for Standardisation, is an independent and non-governmental organisation which develops standards for systems, services and products to demonstrate their quality, safety and efficiency.
Why Would You Want ISO Certification?
An ISO certification demonstrates that the business wishes to operate to a set framework in order to achieve its company objectives. This could be shown through customer satisfaction objectives, production objectives or environmental objectives. The external certification increases the credibility and customer confidence in the brand, service or product.
How Do I Obtain ISO Certification?
We want to keep the process as simple as possible! We will undertake an initial assessment of the company to see where they currently stand with regards to the chosen ISO system. From this, we will then make a series of recommendations on what needs to change in order to become compliant. We’ll then draw up a plan for implementing the recommendations and prepare you to be ready for assessment.
How Long Will My Assessment Take?
The time taken and the cost to achieve certification will vary depending upon the following:
The standard(s) you are hoping to achieve certification for, as they all vary with the amount of work involved. For example, ISO 9001 is all about your working processes, so it is predominantly looking at what you’re doing to manage your customers. It is thought that most organisations are already 50% of the way to certification before even starting to work for ISO 9001, so the process is often a case of getting that information into an approved format.
If you are choosing to do ISO 14001, the work will include an environmental review to determine which of your processes you have the potential to improve.
Similarly if you choose BS OHSAS 18001, there you need to comply with legislation, such as completing sufficient risk assessments, in order to gain certification.
The complexity of your organisation including how you provide your service and/or manufacture your product.
Geographical locations e.g. do you operate out of one site or ten? The system should be adopted at all your sites.
The assessment body you choose. Their availability will be a significant concern in the certification process, with some which will be available in two months, others in four months. Similarly for most management standards, many assessment bodies adopt a two stage certification approach: Stage 1 will include completing a gap analysis of the system to establish your readiness, with Stage 2 (or the final assessment) then encompassing a full audit of the management system (the pass or fail scenario).
The number of employees involved in the organisation. This is because, generally, more people mean more processes, and these all have to be considered in the certification scope. This will also affect your assessment duration: more people will require more days from the assessment body.
How Much Will My Assessment Cost?
This cost will vary depending upon the assessment body you select. There are a large number of these bodies in the UK, with some better known than others. Some are more cost effective, though often the more expensive options may be popular in specific industries or sectors.
There is no right or wrong assessment body, though at JR Consultants we only use and recommend UKAS accredited assessment bodies.
What ISO Standards Do I Need?
There are thousands of different management standards, so finding the right one for your business could be deemed as quite confusing. The best place to start is with the ISO 9001 certification, which is the core standard that other standards are based on. This standard focuses on customer service and ensuring the customer receives the service they want at a time and cost that is fair.
Other standards you could benefit from include ISO 14001 and ISO 45001. Get in touch with JR Consultants and we can advise on the best ISO standards for your service, product or system.
Can You Help Us Choose the Right Assessment Body?
Yes we can. We have built up close business relationships with many, all of whom are UKAS accredited and our recommendation will depend on their costs and their experience in your industry.
We can also discuss any preferences you may have and are more than happy to go with your recommendations.
Can You Offer Assistance After We Have Gained Certification?
Yes we can. We class this as a service contract, and it will encompass the complete annual ongoing management of the system as it develops.
We will plan and schedule the audits accordingly, and these will then be completed by one of our auditors at the required time. Any non conformity found will be raised and rectified as necessary, ready for your annual surveillance visit from the assessment body, which we will also attend.
For more information on this service please visit our internal auditing information page by clicking here