Understanding ISO 9001 certification costs

ISO 9001 auditing cost

Understanding the ISO 9001 certification cost of an Audit may not be as straightforward as you think, and most registrars may incur additional costs due to location. Unfortunately those costs are not always revealed to you, so reading the fine print is essential.

How can you  be assured that you receive optimal costs for an ISO Audit & Certification? What are the factors involved? What should be considered? These are just some of the question’s companies, organizations and consultants may have, and for good reasons, as the cost for such a service is a prime investment for your organization. This article will answer all these questions and ensure you are more knowledgeable on the process and factors involved.

Certification Costs

The following costs are important to consider – If your quotation does not include  the information on any of the following costs, you should enquire further:

  1. Initial Cost– This includes 1st and 2nd stage audit. This is the first cost to take note of, this should comprise of the Application, Auditor and Certification fees.. This is the cost your organization must pay to become certified in the first instance.
  2. Surveillance Cost– This is the cost for both of your 2 annual surveillance audits, this cost should always be around 1/3rd of the Initial cost paid for certification. This cost will be paid twice, once for each surveillance audit. NOTE: Be sure to understand the costs for surveillance audits upfront, leaving this out of a quotation should start to raise questions and red flags. Essentially your company will be paying the Certification body each year.
  3. Additional Costs– This is where things can get blurred or grey, always ensure your quotation identifies additional costs, otherwise it will be included on the back end, usually within your last bill, this can be included in the fine prints of your quotation or vaguely worded “as necessary” or “billed at cost”. Additional costs can include (Airfare for auditors, meals, local travel, hotel stay, payment for auditor flight time etc.) For small to medium sized companies this can be an unwanted expense. Planning may be more critical with a tight budget, as these costs will be incurred each year. Some of these costs can be eliminated if your Registrar or Certification body is located within your country, state or region. 

NOTE: – Always calculate the cost for the entire 3 year certification cycle. This can be effectively done by adding the following:
Initial Certification Cost –                      $—–
Year 1 Surveillance cost –                      $—–
Year 2 Surveillance cost –                      $—–
Additional Costs incurred for 3 years -$—–

Using the above method, companies will know the actual cost of certification vs the cost which might be initially indicated or highlighted in the quotation. The most difficult aspect of the quotation process is the “additional cost” . Most registrars may not openly reveal this information as it will elevate the cost of doing business with them. You can average these expenses by confirming the number of auditors and their location for more accurate estimation of airfare, hotel etc. 

TIP: While not advertised openly, some Registrars qualify companies for payment plan options, this may incur a slight cost increase, it may be well suited within your financial model.

There are many other factors to consider when evaluating ISO Certification costs, however the information above will ensure the most important factors are evaluated.  Please feel free to get a no-obligation quotation from GCS, by completing our simple request a quote online form, a customized quotation will be sent to you within 24 hrs. For any additional questions, you can speak to our Live online customer service reps by clicking the blue tab below.