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No Such Thing as a Quick ISO!

October 1, 2018

If you feel tempted to get an ‘ISO accreditation at the rush’, you need to be aware of a few things:


When an External Auditor, who by the way should not be connected to the ISO consultant or their company if you are using a consultant, is going to be looking for a Management System that has evidence of documented information, which includes reports, minutes of meetings, signatures in place and evidence that procedures that are documented are in being followed. That means:


  • Carrying out and recording Internal Audits, the emphasis is on the plural!

  • Actions arising from the Internal Audits, eg, Root Cause Analysis and Corrective Action Reports completed, Action Plans produced, actions implemented, outcomes reviewed and either signed off or new actions produced – the Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle;

  • Documents correctly updated and recorded;

  • Staff training records updated and recorded;

  • Management meetings to review the Management System, Objectives, Risks and Opportunities minuted, actioned, updated, renewed and recorded.


For this to be in place, let’s be realistic, it takes a minimum of 3 months after implementation. This is the embedment stage!


The consequences of a ‘quick fix’:


  • Loss or suspension of your certificates when the External Auditor comes back for your first review audit;

  • Your certificate is actually fake, so loss of face, possibly customers;

  • A waste of your MONEY.


If you are going to go for an ISO certification, do it properly, invest your time, your staff and your money. In doing so, you are investing in growth of customer satisfaction, products or services that exceed expectation, staff morale and business profits!


For businesses that decide to use a Consultant. There is a reason why ISO Consultants cannot be associated with certification bodies and, vice versa. It’s because there is a risk of collusion. The Certification Body must be totally independent of an ISO Consultant and the company they work for, in order to give a totally unbiased review of your ISO management system.


At the moment, I see this the opposite a lot now, where a Certification Body has a connection, either directly or indirectly with an ISO Consultancy provider. This is one of the reasons I come across ISO Management Systems that do not deliver what they are supposed to deliver.


But it’s not just the fault of the Certification body, it is also the fault of businesses that are looking for a quick fix certificate for a tender, whether that be a government tender or a large business tender, or, a requirement to be selected as a preferred supplier.


So, do your homework and check that, if you use Consultants, that they are not connected to a Certification Body.


Don’t fall for the 4-week ISO certification promise. I can guarantee that if you go down this route, it will not be a real ISO accreditation.


Invest in a Management System for the right reasons, not for a piece of paper. Done properly it is an investment that will return the benefits.


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