Critical Factors when choosing an ISO 9001 Certification Body

Choosing the right ISO 9001 Certification body is critical for success and not all Registrars are recognized and valued equally. It is important to understand these critical points before selecting a certification body. We have also prepared a free downloadable checklist to use, which can save thousands of dollars and assist in ensuring that you make the right decision.
How can an organization ensure that they received the best cost for an ISO Audit & Certification? What are the factors involved? What should be considered? These are just some of the question’s organizations and consultants have, and for good reason. As the cost for such a service is a prime investment for your organization, this article will answer these questions and ensure you are more knowledgeable on the process and factors involved.

Main Factors

Main Point#1 – Communication
While this may seem minor, it is one of the most critical aspects in deciding and finalizing the best choice for your certification body. Communication with most Accredited Registrars and Certification Bodies are very slow and quite frustrating. A simple quotation request can take between one to two weeks because of the lengthy forms, email correspondents and slow feedback processes. Upon finally receiving a quotation you may have questions that will take much more time to get answered properly. 
Tip#1. Consider this as a first indicator of effectiveness because the Registrar you choose will be servicing your company for years to come. Effective and timely communication should be forthcoming.

Main Point#2 – Accreditation
Accreditation is very important, as the certificate you receive must be from an Accredited Registrar and Certification body. Critical evaluation must be considered even from Registrars and Certification bodies who claim to be accredited. Accreditation bodies sometimes are found to be illegitimate, only validated on their website. In this instance, Registrars can send validation to you pointing reference to these websites. It is a difficult situation to manage because this can make the search for “validity” very daunting. The answer to all “Validated” and Accredited” Registrars can come from one source, the International Accreditation Forum IAF. This association serve as the oversight for all accreditation and certification bodies globally. You can easily verify the status of any Registrar or Certification body by searching the IAF online Database here  “search for the name of the certification body on the top left corner of the screen”

Main Point#3 – Price
Pricing for an ISO Audit from a Certification Body can be the most influential factor on your final decision. However, this may not be as straightforward as one might think. There are strategies that Registrars and Certification Bodies may use to influence your decision as it relates to price on the front-end and omit other important costs, only to be revealed after you have a contract is presented to you. GCS has published an article dedicated to this topic, you can view it here “Costs involved in ISO Certification”. 

Main Point#4 – Location
The location of Registrars and Certification Bodies are very important because they have a direct impact on price. There are additional costs involved in having Auditors travel both locally, either from state to state or International. Additional costs include (Airfare, Local transport, hotel accommodation, food, and other reasonable expenses). The auditors are also paid for travel time, usually 30-50% less than their paid day rate. Having access to your Registrar locally within your country and state will eliminate these expenses. Most times travel and additional costs can increase your expenditure by approximately 20-50% of your initial quote. Having a local office and local auditors will benefit your company financially as these additional costs will continue to incur every year.

Main Point# 5 – Flexibility
 ISO Audit and Certification is a specialist service and not widely available. Most Registrars and Certification Bodies cannot respond to your request at your chosen or preferred schedule. Instead they service your company at a time suitable to their schedule. This is a factor which should be considered as you may need to be flexible during your engagements within your certification cycle.

The 5 points above, can be used collectively after shortlisting a few possible Registrars. Rank each registrar based on the 5 criteria’s above maybe on a scale of 1-5. Upon completing and considering these factors, you should be on the right track on choosing the best Certification Body for your company’s ISO Audit.

Contact GCS at any time for additional questions or clarification on any ISO issue or topic, we also have online representatives 24/7. Just click the blue tab at the bottom of this web page or submit a form via our contact us page.