What is the cost of maintaining ISO certification?

When you’ve done the hard work of implementing your chosen ISO Standard(s) and successfully completed the impartial external audit process to achieve ISO certification, the work doesn’t end there.

You will need to continue operating your management system, following processes and procedures, generating evidence and fulfilling ISO requirements such as internal audits.

In addition, if you have used an accredited Certification Body, the certificate you have been granted will last three years. During that time, you will be required to have a number of external surveillance audits. 


So how much does it cost to maintain ISO certification?

Operational costs

If your management system has been implemented efficiently, the operational overhead should be minimal, this is because any processes or procedures will be embedded in the work your people do every day.

You may find, however, that certain processes or procedures that you have put in place to achieve ISO certification may be negatively impacting your business. In this case, it is important that you talk to an ISO consultant such as Assent Risk Management. 

We can advise on the spirit of the standard and assess your processes to ensure they are as efficient as possible. Ensuring that you are getting the most out of your management system. 

The biggest mistake we see in implementing ISO is clauses being miss interpreted, which can cause friction in your organisation.

ISO Consultant Support 

It is not mandatory to engage an ISO consultant but they can bring an enormous amount of value.

An ISO Support package will usually include a programme of internal audits as a minimum. This will consist of a number of chargeable days over a year. Using a consultant for your internal audits also helps you to maintain impartiality, ensuring auditors are not assessing their own work.

A more comprehensive support package might include chairing management review meetings, conducting tests/exercises or general consultancy, for example advising on changes to standards. 

At Assent, we tailor our support packages and also set out flexible payment options to suit your business. We also include travel to your main site within our costs so you can be clear about what you are paying.

Certification Costs

The periodic surveillance audits come with a cost, usually set out at the beginning of the certification process.

Costs do vary depending on the certification body you are working with. As a minimum, most Certification Bodies surveillance audits consist of a fee per audit day, plus an admin or management fee. In addition to this, many Certification Bodies will also charge their travel and expenses. 

Something else you must be aware of is whether there are any changes to your Scope. Either increasing or decreasing your audit scope could impact the number of days required and this will impact the cost.  

Changes to scope could include adding or removing a physical location, increasing or decreasing staff on the payroll, or a change of business activity.

Certification costs can be difficult to understand and compare but Assent’s experienced consultants are happy to support you through this process. 

Robert Clements
Robert Clements
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