Choosing a Certification Body? Things to consider…
Certification Bodies will audit your company to verify your Management Systems and Processes. The Bodies themselves are accredited by a central body to ensure they uphold the Principles of Certification. The most familiar of these is UKAS. Have a look at our blog: Why Choose a UKAS Accredited Certification Body?
In some cases, high numbers of staff involved in the same process can decrease the amount of audit days required. In other cases, the number of ‘effective staff’ is used as a measure of complexity and can also affect number of days. Generally, Certification Bodies change by the day and the number of days are governed by UKAS. However, the rule around the number of days isn’t always that straight forward.
- Brand & Reputation
Some of the Certification Bodies have a highly identifiable brand, which can be attractive when considering using the Certification mark on stationery. However, some Certification Bodies operate in niche markets or have a particular reputation within a certain industry. When selecting a Certification Body it can be valuable to get feedback from customers, suppliers and competitors regarding their personal experience of particular Certification Bodies.
ISO Certification is known internationally, and if you work in numerous territories, the coverage of a Certification Body can be an important consideration. The location of Certification Body branch offices can vary, and those who are further away from your company location can create increased travel costs. Alternatively, if you only operate in one country, then a smaller Certification Body could offer lower costs and provide a more personal service.
- Travel Costs
The cost of travel and accommodation can vary between the various Certification Bodies. Some will include travel within their day rate, however in many cases this will make the day rates look higher than competitors, so it may be worth asking. In cases where Certification Bodies charge travel and accommodation on top of a day rate, the location of the Auditor(s) is an important consideration. Often you can request Certification Bodies to cap the travel costs within their quote.
Charging travel and accommodation on top does not always make the overall cost more than other Certification Bodies – it really is CertBody dependant.
- Admin & Management Costs
There can be various other additional costs involved in Certification including Application, Admin and Management fees. These can cover a variety of things including their ‘back office’ charges, which is an important part of the Certification relationship – the back office will be responsible for arranging audit dates and dealing with any issues that arise. In some cases, some of these fees can be negotiated!
- Other Services
It is also worth considering your future requirements and growth plans when engaging a Certification Body.
Many will provide training services, which can be a real advantage to a company as it grows, while others have specialist services such as Compliance Software, Insurance Services and Industry Analytics.
Need Some Help?
ISO Consultants can help you meet the requirements of your chosen standard or scheme prior to the Certification. Feel free to contact us.