ISO Support Services – An Important Consideration for Successful Certifications
Many organisations find themselves in a position where there want to grow further and often the pressures from third parties are also growing for them to achieve certificated registrations for standards, including most typically, ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and in some sectors OHSAS 18001.
The starting point for most organisations is ISO 9001. ISO 9001 is the International Standard for Quality Management Systems. This standard has the longest history and has been developed over many years from its origin as a British Standard (BS5750). Having development an ISO 9001 compliant management system, it should then be fairly straight forward to development systems for 14001 and 18001 under the umbrella on an Integrated Management System.
There are many consultants in the UK offering ISO Support
Services, and the competence of these consultants can be very variable. Below are a few tips to follow when selecting and appointing a consultant for ISO Support
Services. Chose a consultant with a proven track record
A good consultant should have no problems in providing a selection of references from satisfied customers. If the consultant cannot produce these references the alarm bells should start ringing. Try to find a consultant that is local to you
If your ISO Support
Services are coming from a consultant that has travelled a long distance to attend your site it is likely that the consultant will be exhausted before even starting work. This could have a negative effect on project. The consultant may be prepared to do overnight stays to avoid the travel but this cost will have to be absorbed somewhere. Make sure that you meet the consultant who will be doing the work
Many consulting companies will be fronted by sales people. You might be impressed by the salesman, but wouldn’t it be a good idea to meet the consultant that you actually have to work with on the project? Make sure you are comparing like for like
There are two key stages to an ISO Support
project. The first stage involves the design and the development of the documented system to meet the requirements of the relevant standard and the second is the implementation of the system itself. It is important to establish whether the consultant has just quoted the project for the documentation stage alone and if he has also quoted for the implementation support, how much support is actually on offer. Will the consultant be helping with the internal auditing? Will he assist with and attend management review? Will the consultant be present at the pre-assessment gap analysis by the certification body and will he be present throughout the assessment stage? Does your consultant offer post registration support?
It may be that your organisation wants to operate autonomously after the initial certification. If this is the case, this is not a consideration. However, many companies will benefit from assistance after the initial registration to help maintain and improve the management system. So, it is important to ask the consultant at the outset of the project wherever post registration support services are available, and if they are what is the typical annual pricing structure for these support services?
If you follow a few of the tips above, hopefully, you will contract a top quality consultant for ISO Support
and your experiences in developing and implementing a successful management system will be good ones.