With a significant investment of time and resources, you want your journey to ISO accreditation to be smooth and successful. In many cases, this means working with an independent consultant. Jenny Kilburn of Synergos Consultancy Ltd is here to help you decide how to choose an ISO consultant?

If you are searching for an ISO consultant for the first time, you could find yourself bewildered by the number of different companies and experts available, of whom promise or even guarantee a smooth journey to ISO certification. Making the right choice of consultant is important but needn’t be difficult.

1. Ask yourself why do you need an ISO consultant?

Technically, you don’t need a consultant to bring your ISO journey to a successful conclusion. Rather than needing a consultant, you probably want to hire one who can offer support, advice and ideas, as well having the in-depth knowledge of both the process and the ISO in question.

ISOs are suitable for all companies whether they are big and small. For the smaller company, an ISO consultant can be the valuable extra team member that secures the all-important ISO certification.

2. Experience and relevance

There are 21,584 standards across 162 member countries and 788 technical bodies. No ISO consultant can be an expert in them all, so making sure you find a consultancy that has the experience in working with your chosen ISO is essential.

3. The relationship

You will be working closely with an ISO consultancy and their team over several months. ISO certification will play a pivotal role in future growth, so you want to get it right. There may be bumps in the road so you need to be confident that your chosen consultant is engaged, available and committed to seeing the process through with you.

This is all about establishing a rapport. Do you feel you can communicate with them and that they really understand your business?

4. Understanding their approach

The journey to ISO certification doesn’t always have to follow the same path. You need a consultant who has different methods and ideas so that you get the most from the process. ISOs are not about ‘inventing’ policies or changing how you do everything within your organisation but adapting and growing what you have. You need a consultant that has different tools and approaches for doing this.

5. Cost

You’ll also need to consider a budget when it comes to hiring a consultant. When choosing, factor in that big money doesn’t always mean you will get the best service.

You'll need an hourly, half-daily and daily rate, as well as a ballpark figure of what the final invoice will be. You’ll want to know what is and isn’t included, these could be expenses such as travel costs as an example. A detailed proposal will show you what you are getting and at what cost and it is recommended to have a contract.

6. Case Studies

Reviews and case studies are a means by which you can see what other clients have thought of the service they have received. This can be an important tool in confirming you have made the right choice of ISO consultant.

Shaun Tate
Article by Shaun Tate
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