Some Alternatives to ISO Certification

ISO Certification is recognised across the world to represent the best practice in a variety of management disciplines.

However, for many smaller organisations the formality, complexity and costs of achieving ISO Certification can be off-putting, which is a terrible shame as all organisations can benefit from ISO Management Systems.

We have solutions to help small businesses implement an appropriate, low overhead, ISO Management System and we’ve helped many organisations successfully achieve certification.

However, we understand that jumping straight in to ISO can be daunting, so here are some alternatives that you could consider first….

Try Cyber Essentials before ISO 27001

There have been many high-profile data breaches in the news recently, and the reputational damage to an organisation can be considerable.  We are all vulnerable to cyber attack.  While ISO 27001 is recognised as the go-to standard for Information Security, Cyber Essentials might be the best place to start.

The Cyber Essentials scheme was introduced by the UK Government to provide a basic level of IT security across organisation’s it deals with.

The basic Cyber Essentials Scheme involves a questionnaire about your IT security arrangements, such as your Anti-Virus software, Software Update Policies and Password Complexity.

You’ll need to complete the questionnaire and provide evidence such as screen shots ad logs, which are then sent aware to an assessor before the certification is awarded. There is no on-site audit and the cost is relatively low.

The Cyber Essentials Plus Scheme is also available, which in addition to the above includes a Pen Test of your network.

Alternatives to ISO 45001: Chas or Safe Contractor

Finally published in 2018, ISO 45001 is the first international standard for Occupational Health & Safety, replacing the well recognised OHSAS 18001.

But if that is too daunting, there are several pre-qualification type health & safety schemes you can apply to such as CHAS or Safe Contractor.

Most involve a questionnaire or online portal which needs to be completed with supporting evidence, for example providing copies of policies or insurance cover.

On successful completion you’ll receive a certificate and recognised logo for your vehicles and paper work.

Alternatives to ISO 14001 – Green Mark or IEMA

 In recent years environmental awareness has rapidly gained attention, particularly with regards to business and enterprise. The beginnings of ISO14001, however, go as far back as the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. Relaunched in 2015 with a shiny new format to enable better integration with other standards, ISO14001 is one of the most commonly sought certifications.

However, it can seem like a behemoth of a project for small businesses. In which case, you may wish to consider some lighter options such as Green Mark and IEMA.

Green Mark was developed specifically to be a low cost alternative to ISO14001. Certification to this scheme is internationally recognised, and membership comes with plenty of support and guidance.

A growing network of over 14000 people in more than 100 countries, IEMA membership comes in several levels and provides expertise and support to set up an environmental management system within your organisation.

ISO 9001 – Buy With Confidence and Lean Six Sigma

ISO 9001 for quality management is one of the most commonly implemented standards, as it really does fit any type or size of organisation. However, if you aren’t ready to go for a full ISO yet, there are some interesting alternatives to consider.

Firstly, there’s Buy With Confidence. The brainchild of a group of Local Authority Trading Standards Services, the scheme is designed to provide a “tick-mark” of trustworthiness. to become a member of the scheme, there are a number of requirements to meet, all of which are based around evidence of the quality of service provided by your organisation.

Ready to take your First Steps in to Certification?

Our team can help you achieve any of the above certifications by helping you interpret the requirements and advising on the best way for your business to meet them.

Contact our office to find out more.

Lauren Tobin
Lauren Tobin
Articles: 57