Buying ISO Certification is like any other purchasing decision, you should always go to the market before choosing a provider to ensure you are getting a service that meets your needs at a reasonable price.
Here’s some things to think about before choosing a provider:
Comparing Like-for-Like ISO Certification Services
If you perform a web search for “ISO Certification”, you will get a bewildering number of results which all appear to offer ISO Certification.
However, not all ISO Certification is the same, so you should be careful to ensure that you are comparing the same level of service between providers.
We recommend using UKAS Accredited Certification Bodies, but this can have an impact on the cost of the service.
Cost Affecting Factors of ISO Certification
The accreditation that a certificate carries is one aspect that may affect the cost of their service however there are others.
The size and overheads of the certification body will inevitably impact the price of their service, with smaller bodies often able to be more competitive.
However, you may find that the complexity of your scope requires a larger supplier. If you have branches in multiple territories you may benefit from a certification body with offices and auditors on the ground, while you may also find that smaller certification bodies do not have the technical capabilities to audit your processes.
Travel, and Accommodation changes may also be applied differently depending on the supplier, so ask up front what these costs will be.
Read more about Choosing an ISO Certification Body.
Monitoring your ISO Certification Supplier
When you’ve chosen an ISO Certification Body to work with, that doesn’t mean you are stuck with them for life. It can be a benefit to keep this under review, just like any other supplier.
Firstly monitor the performance of the certification body’s back office. These are the people who arrange your audit dates, send invoices and so on.
- Do they respond to your queries quickly?
- Do they understand the service they are selling?
Secondly, monitor the experience you get from the auditor.
- Do they add value to your ISO Certification programme?
- Are your employees comfortable to be audited by them?
Remember, raising non-conformities is not necessarily a bad thing, but auditors also commit to a set of ethical guidelines including their professional conduct which they should be held to.
Thinking of Changing ISO Certification Supplier?
If you are not happy with your current ISO Certification Body, you may be able to move providers during the certification cycle.
Accredited bodies, and usually non-accredited bodies too, will have a formal complaints procedure you can use in the first instance.
But if you have decided to change provider, this can usually be done if you are using accredited services.
Accredited ISO Certification Bodies are required to honour the existing certification programme meaning your number of audit days will stay the same – however if you change mid-cycle, your new certification body may need to do an additional transfer audit of your system.
It may be easier if you move at the end of a cycle, as you can let one certificate lapse, and start a new programme elsewhere.
Need Help Changing ISO Certification Body?
We can help you compare like-for-like quotes and prepare to change ISO Certification Bodies.