ISO Certification during Hyper Growth

The term hyper growth is used to describe an organisation, usually a startup, that experiences extreme growth in revenues and/or head count. 

Implementing ISO management systems in this context can be tricky due to the changing scope of the organisation and evolving roles; although arguably applying a recognised framework becomes even more important.  

We are certainly advocates of start ups adopting ISO Standards as a solid foundation for growth, but during hyper growth there are additional project risks to consider. 

Managing the Scope

The first part of any ISO certification project is to define the Scope in terms of business activities, locations, staff and technology.  

However during hyper growth this will often change before you reach the first external audit.

It’s important to document the scope of the management system and keep this under review during the project.

It should also be noted that after certification new locations and business activities can be added as extensions to scope.  

Therefore making a decision to limit the scope for the first round of audits may be beneficial in order to embed the system within your organisation.

People Resource & Responsibilities

Assigning the right people to implement and run the system is essential but during hyper growth personnel can often quickly move roles with new people coming in.

This can severely delay an implementation project before it sets the programme back each time new resources take it over.

However adding responses to an existing team of course can speed up project delivery.  So try to keep your key compliance people on the project at least until after the initial certification audits are completed.

Managing Changes

As the company rapidly grows so too can the policies and procedures required.

Updating or rewriting them can be time consuming and if the changes are not controlled and communicated a lot of time can be wasted.

So maintaining contact with the organisation’s leadership team is important so that any changes that could affect your ISO management system can be planned for ahead of time.

This may allow you to temporarily accept certain risks that you wouldn’t ordinarily take because you are aware of changes that may be coming.

In addition when you do need to change policies or procedures it’s essential that you communicate these to all interested parties who may be affected.

Choosing the Right Certification Body 

Our final tip for managing ISO during hyper growth is to choose the right certification body for you.

It’s important to choose a body that has the accreditation and resources in the territories you need.

But also the planning and administration functions of the body will be important as your requirements change over the lifecycle of the certificate- 3 years. 

Assent can help you choose the right certification body for your organisation.

Assent’s ISO Support for Hyper Growth

At Assent we love working with start ups and all the challenges that brings.  

We have worked with hyper growth SaaS companies, Fintechs and others who have rapidly expanded their headcount across the globe, helping them achieve and sustain ISO Certification.

Through those experiences we have learnt a lot of lessons about the value of ISO Management Systems and how best to implement them to achieve fast ISO Certification while also planning for future requirements and expansion.

Contact our team today to discuss how we can help your organisation.

Robert Clements
Robert Clements
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