FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Here at ISO Quality Services Ltd we like to ensure that ISO Certification is easy to understand and in line with that philosophy, here are the most frequently asked questions that we are asked by prospective clients. If your question does not appear here, please contact us and we will endeavour to answer it.

 
MOST POPULAR FAQS
  1. 1
    WHAT IS AN ISO MANAGEMENT STANDARD?

    An ISO Management Standard is a set of internationally recognised guidelines, covering key areas of running and managing a business such as:

    • Leadership and commitment
    • Managing Business Risks and Opportunities
    • Resources such as, People and Infrastructure
    • Competence
    • Communication
    • Operational Planning and Control
    • Performance Evaluation
    • Improvement

    An ISO management standard is a way of running your operations so they are consistent and effective. It is viewed as business best practice.

    The most common benefits include:

    • Increased efficiency
    • Reduced costs
    • Improved customer satisfaction
    • More engaged employees
    • Reduced risks

    If you are an owner managed business, ISO Management Systems can help make your business more attractive to potential buyers. If your long term strategy is to obtain an investor or sell the business, ISO Certification can help.

  2. 2
    WHAT IS ISO CERTIFICATION AND IS IT RIGHT FOR YOU?

    ISO certification is proof from a third party that you comply with an ISO management standard. It can show your key stakeholders that you have a well-run business that has structure, is stable and ready for growth – this can help with applying for finance from your bank, impressing potential investors, or eventually selling.

    To achieve ISO Certification, you have to prove that your business meets the requirements of the standard. Although this sounds intimidating, a lot of the requirements are general good business practice and we will help you every step of the way.

    Once certified, we will help you to continually retain your certification. You will be able to contact us for advice whenever you need it and our fees include on-going consultancy to help keep your systems on track for a painless re-certification, year after year.

    If you answer yes to all or some of the following questions, you should consider having your business certified:

    • Would you like your business to be worth up to 20% more?
    • Would you like to be more profitable?
    • Are there areas within your business that could be more efficient?
    • Would you benefit from reducing costs?
    • Are your processes and procedures undocumented?
    • Could improving customer satisfaction improve your turnover?
    • Do you find yourself (or your team) spending time fixing things rather than planning for a stronger future?
    • Do different people do things in their own way?
    • Does it take a while for new starters to become productive?
    • Would your business benefit from improved staff engagement and heightened motivation?

    ISO certification also offers other benefits, such as increased sales and reduced insurance premiums.

  3. 3
    What is ISO certification?

    ISO certification is a seal of approval from a third party body that a company runs to one of the international standards developed and published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

    The ISO are an independent, non-governmental international organization who brings together experts to share knowledge and develop international standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges.

  4. 4
    Why would I want ISO certification?

    ISO certification shows your key stakeholders that you have a well-run business that has structure, is stable and ready for growth.

    Each ISO standard has its own benefits, for example:

    • ISO 9001 helps put your customers first
    • ISO 27001 protects your systems, data and reputation
    • ISO 14001 reduces your environmental impact
    • ISO 45001 helps you protect your people
    • ISO 22301 protects your business from disruption

    Common benefits across all ISO standards include:

    • Increased efficiency
    • Reduced costs
    • Improved customer satisfaction
    • More engaged employees
    • Reduced risks
    • Reduced insurance premiums
    • Helps with tendering

    By maintaining an ISO certification you are proving your organisations commitment to achieving your objectives and increasing the credibility and customer confidence in your product or service.

  5. 5
    What does ISO certification cost?

    ISO certification costs vary dependent on the size of an organisation and the level to which the company is already run with regards to processes and procedures. If you decide to implement more than one standard at the same time, there are some preferential fees available. We offer a simple, cost effective service with flexible payment terms.  You can request a quote here.

    Due to our proposals being bespoke and the number of variables that can affect the cost of implementation, we do like to meet our potential clients so as to get to know them a little better before providing them with costings

  6. 6
    How can you support me through the process?

    We pride ourselves on the support we offer our clients from initial assessment through to ISO certification and beyond.

    We will provide you with as much support as you require to include:

    • A Designated Account Manager: You will be assigned an Account Manager who is on hand to support you with any questions you have regarding the day to day running of your management standard.
    • Access to our Client Area: You will find a wealth of information on our Client Area to include forms, templates, guidance notes which includes webinars and video tutorials.
    • Annual Support Visits: Our annual support visits are there to provide you with additional support in the areas you feel less confident with, whether that’s ensuring you’re compliant for your next re-certification audit or need help running a Management Review Meeting. These visits are completely flexible and lead by you to ensure you feel confident in the day to day running of your management system.
    • ISO TrainingAll of our training courses are designed to develop your understanding and ability to run an effective management system.  Whether you want to learn about each clause individually or better understand a particular aspect, we offer both face to face and online training to suit various learning styles.  Find a course here.
    • ISO ConsultancyIf you feel you would benefit from additional support we also offer bespoke ISO consultancy.  As with the annual support visits, these consultancy days will be lead by you and can cover a variety of topics for example, you may want to improve your current systems, need additional support with your auditing system or no longer have the skills in-house to effectively run your management system.   Whatever the reason, we can help.
  7. 7
    Do you offer training?

    Yes.  All of our training courses are designed to develop your understanding and ability to run an effective management system.  Whether you’re considering implementation or are already involved with the day to day running of your management system, you’ll have something new to learn.

    We offer a variety of training styles to suit individual learning requirements either in the classroom, online or at your premises.  Find out more here.

  8. 8
    How long does it take to achieve ISO certification?

    We aim for a 6-8 week delivery period, but again this can vary from organisation to organisation. We will never delay the process, however we understand that things can happen that may mean you require a small delay. We will accommodate this where possible; however for those who are looking to achieve ISO certification as soon as possible, we will endeavour to ensure you obtain your ISO certification within our standard timescales.

    After the quotation has been accepted and the deposit payment has been received we offer all of our clients a letter that you can send to your potential clients or include with tenders, to confirm that you have entered the process and that you will be fully certified within 6-8 weeks. This is normally sufficient to move forward with a tender process. This can then be followed up by an announcement letter stating that you have achieved the ISO certification.

  9. 9
    How do I obtain ISO certification?

    Our simple six step process makes getting certified easy!

    Our main ethos is to keep the process for you, the customer, as simple as possible. We undertake an initial assessment of the company, to see where the company currently stands with regards to the chosen ISO certification. From this we make a series of recommendations on what needs to be done to become compliant (we will not make any major procedure changes unless absolutely necessary).

    We will then draw up a plan for implementing the recommendations (to be completed over the next 6-12 months), complete as many of them for you as possible, write your manual and mandatory standard operating procedures (as required by the standard) and then 6-8 weeks after the first initial assessment visit come back to present the manual with your ISO certification.

    You will be certified from this point forward. The systems are focused on continual improvement, therefore we will visit you on a regular basis to ensure that you are on track with the recommendations and ready for re-certification year on year.

    You can request a quote here.

    After the quotation has been accepted and the deposit payment has been received we offer all of our clients a letter that you can send to your potential clients or include with tenders, to confirm that you have entered the process and that you will be fully certified within 6-8 weeks. This is normally sufficient to move forward with a tender process. This can then be followed up by an announcement letter stating that you have achieved the ISO certification.

  10. 10
    Can we achieve ISO certification remotely?

    Yes.  Like many businesses we have had to find dynamic ways of working during the coronavirus pandemic.

  11. 11
    Which ISO standards do we need?

    There are over 20,000 different management standards, therefore finding the ones that are right for your business can sometimes be confusing. The best place to start is ISO 9001 Quality Management, as this is the core standard that most of the other well-known standards are based on. It’s focused on customer service and ensuring your customer receives the service they want, at a time that’s relevant for a cost that’s fair.  Based on your company’s activities there may be additional ‘bolt on’ standards that you may require or that might complement the business, for example:

    • ISO 27001 protects your systems, data and reputation
    • ISO 14001 reduces your environmental impact
    • ISO 45001 helps you protect your people
    • ISO 22301 protects your business from disruption

    This best way to determine which management system is right for your business is to discuss your needs with us.

  12. 12
    What do I need to get prepared before the implementation?
    • Once confirming you would like to go ahead with ISO Quality Services, we will provide you with an ISO Documentation checklist which will make up your ISO management system.

    Documents we look for vary per standard however, please don’t worry if you don’t have all of the documentation in place as we can assist you with putting this together with the support from one of our associates or forms provided on our client area

  13. 13
    What do I need to do to maintain my Management System once certified?
    • From your visits you will receive recommendations which will help / tell you what you need you need to do.  However, there are regular exercises that need to be completed regularly such as internal audits, document control and management review meetings. These will help you maintain your system.
  14. 14
    What is the difference between a support visit and a re-certification audit?
    • Support Visit

    Our support visits are there to provide you with additional support in the areas you feel less confident with, whether that’s ensuring you’re compliant for your next re-certification audit or need help running a Management Review Meeting.

    These visits are completely flexible and lead by you to ensure you feel confident in the day to day running of your management system.

    Re-certification Audit

    At your Re-certification audit we will assess whether you are still compliant to the management standard.

  15. 15
    How can you support me through the process?

    We pride ourselves on the support we offer our clients from initial assessment through to ISO certification and beyond.

    We will provide you with as much support as you require to include:

    • A Designated Account Manager: You will be assigned an Account Manager who is on hand to support you with any questions you have regarding the day to day running of your management standard.
    • Access to our Client Area: You will find a wealth of information on our Client Area to include forms, templates, guidance notes which includes webinars and video tutorials.
    • Annual Support Visits: Our annual support visits are there to provide you with additional support in the areas you feel less confident with, whether that’s ensuring you’re compliant for your next re-certification audit or need help running a Management Review Meeting. These visits are completely flexible and lead by you to ensure you feel confident in the day to day running of your management system.
    • ISO TrainingAll of our training courses are designed to develop your understanding and ability to run an effective management system.  Whether you want to learn about each clause individually or better understand a particular aspect, we offer both face to face and online training to suit various learning styles. 
    • ISO ConsultancyIf you feel you would benefit from additional support we also offer bespoke ISO consultancy.  As with the annual support visits, these consultancy days will be lead by you and can cover a variety of topics for example, you may want to improve your current systems, need additional support with your auditing system or no longer have the skills in-house to effectively run your management system.   Whatever the reason, we can help.
  16. 16
    Do you offer training?
    • All of our training courses are designed to develop your understanding and ability to run an effective management system.  Whether you’re considering implementation or are already involved with the day to day running of your management system, you’ll have something new to learn.
    • We offer a variety of training styles to suit individual learning requirements either in the classroom, online or at your premises.  

     

  17. 17
    What Does "ISO Certified" Mean?

    To be certified by the ISO means that you have been audited by an independent 3rd party, and that you have demonstrated your business conforms to the requirements of the latest quality process standards set by the International Standards Organization. This certification signifies that your processes work efficiently and effectively, and are consistent with the international best practices (aka The Standard).  

    This is beneficial for your company both internally and externally. Internally, because you are likely to build and ship better quality products that delight your customers and will arrive on-time.  And externally, because you can now market that fact to the outside business community, which would translate into higher sales levels with a better set of customers. Companies that have solid processes build high-quality products that arrive when needed, and those companies develop great reputations and followings.

    There are numerous ISO certifications that are industry-specific, ranging from energy management and social responsibility to risk management and occupational health and safety. In addition to having its own specific criteria and set of standards, each ISO certification is classified numerically. For example, the ISO certification for quality management systems is ISO 9001:2015; which means that the standard number is 9001 and it was released in 2015.