ISO 9001 certification costs and ISO 9001 accreditation costs when developing a complying ISO 9001 Quality Management System Explained
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We are looking into getting our company ISO9001 certified and want to know the associated costing. Are you able to give me a concise breakdown of:-
- What is required in order to begin the process (pre-work if applicable) and ultimately get certified
- Concise breakdown of how much it will cost, from consultation through to certification
- How long you expect it will take to get certification.
Thank you for making contact regards ISO 9001 certification and accreditation costs. The answers to your questions are noted below. You can also read about what every business must include into a ISO 9001 quality system.
You can download an overview of the LRS ISO 9001 Quality System Certification Process we typically follow when developing ISO 9001 compliant quality systems. At the end we do a double-check compliance internal audit of our work to ensure that your quality management system is indeed ISO 9001 compliant.
You can view the ISO9001 Quality Management Framework that your business needs to have in place and in use if you want ISO 9001 Quality Management System certification. If you use us as your ISO9001 Quality Consultants we will compile the frame work completely and ensure it meets ISO9001 accreditation standards.
- The typical process of certification involves a pre-certification audit by the certifying body to review your current quality management system. The pre-audit reviews you current business systems and documents and advises you what needs to be done to make your business ready for a full ISO 9001 certification audit. For a business of your size, head-quartered at one location, this is usually one person on-site for a day, plus another day for the written report. Businesses that are large, or with multiple sites to be certified, will require additional time and perhaps even additional people.
The pre-audit also provides opportunity to meet the persons most likely to do the final ISO 9001 certification audit and the subsequent 3-yearly re-certification audits, and begin an on-going relationship.
- The next step is to prepare your existing quality system as advised in the pre-audit report. ‘Quality’ is defined as the delivery of agreed performance and ISO 9001 asks your company to prove how it achieves its stated level of product and service quality. Typically this means developing any missing business processes and documentation required to comply with the ISO 9001 standard. It starts by writing a master quality manual explaining concisely how the operation delivers is services to the specified level of quality, along with the systems and processes it employs to do that. From the master manual you build or improve the systems and processes it identifies as being necessary to deliver your products or services to the stated quality.
This is where my organisation becomes involved in helping you get ISO 9001 certification. We help you develop and improve the processes and documents in your organisation to the required content and standard. Because we know the requirements of ISO 9001 so well, we focus on what is necessary and truly effective for your business. This reduces the time, work and costs needed to get your systems and documents in order for the ISO 9001 certification audit.
- The final step is for the certifying body to do the certification audit. In an operation of your size, head-quartered at one location, this can take up to two days on-site for one person, plus a day to write the report on their findings (usually a day on-site is enough if all systems and documentation are well prepared). If non-conformances are identified in the certification audit report they are rectified; the Auditor returns on another day to check that they are suitably addressed.
The ISO 9001 quality management system certificate is issued by the certifying body once they are satisfied that the organisation has met the requirements of ISO 9001 Quality System requirements. It can take about a month to get the actual certificate once compliance auditing is successfully completed.
ISO9001 Certification Costs:
- There are two component costs to becoming ISO 9001 certified. One is for ISO 9001 accreditation and the other is all the preparation in readiness for ISO 9001 accreditation.
For a business of your size, head-quartered at one location, the cost for the ISO 9001 Certification Body pre-audit, final audit and their associated reports, along with the Certification fee and Application fee is around $6K-$8K. On top of that will be time, travelling and accommodation costs if the operation is in a remote location. Because of the extent of the auditing required a sole trader and small business will pay less for ISO 9001 accreditation than a medium size business. A medium size business will pay less than a large business. This price is only indicative and it is necessary to contact the certifying body to get their current costs and a quote for the work. It is a very competitive market and you may find lower quotes by shopping around for an ISO 9001 Certification Body.
There an on-going annual fee, plus the cost of a re-certification audit every three years.
You can contact the certification body and request a quote, or we can do it on your behalf once we are appointed to the assignment. The market is competitive and you should get three quotes from local representatives of nationally accredited certifying bodies.
- When it comes to preparing you for ISO 9001 certification we charge consultation at an hourly flat rate based on a schedule of rates, plus all expenses. As an idea, a ISO 9001 consultant is charged-out at around AU$150 per hour. There is a 15% administration fee on any expenses we incur. Please note that the rate quoted is indicative only and the actual rate for your job is confirmed in writing to you prior our appointment.
The usual practice is to put our consultant(s) into your office to work with you in developing or improving the necessary management systems and business process documents. They can conduct ISO 9001 introductory training for your staff to explain the required changes and their effects on the operation. They remain with your organisation until your systems and documents are fully complete. They also chaperone and guide the Auditors during the final compliance audit.
Alternately you can use your own people under our guidance. In that case we would hold a number of training sessions for the selected people and introduce them to the requirements for ISO9001 quality system certification. We would then remain as mentors to your people as they develop your quality system documents and processes. This would incorporate at least a weekly visit of a day's duration to monitor progress and give help where needed. Finally, we would conduct an internal audit of your quality system to check compliance prior to booking the actual ISO 9001 certification audit.
Duration of Developing ISO 9000 Quality System Documentation:
- The time taken from the decision to start ISO 9001 certification, to the final audit, is typically a minimum of four to six months. Not that you will necessarily have that much work to do, but by the time the certifying body schedules people, and we complete the process of preparing your business, it usually takes that long. You might save a month or more if you devote dedicated resources to the ISO 9001 framework development and your ISO 9001 Certification Body accepts a shorter period to compile historic evidence.
There is one qualification – before the final certification audit you must have a track record of using the full quality system. This means showing evidence that it is being applied and the operation is being managed by it. If you already have good documents then we tailor your ISO 9001 system to make use of them and this becomes the evidence of proof the Auditor requires. But if your current documentation and processes are unsuitable for certification, it will take at least three to four months after it is established to develop the necessary track record and history that an Auditor will accept for certification (unless, as noted previously, the ISO 9001 Certification Body permits a shorter period to build-up sufficient evidence of system use). So for a business without a comprehensive existing quality system it could a up to 9 months, and maybe even 12 months, before they are ISO 9001 certified.
- The length of our consultation period is totally dependent on what documents and processes are missing and how long it takes to create them and put them into use across your operation. An indicative period for a business head-quartered at one location, with a comprehensive existing quality system, would be 3 to 4 weeks full-time work. For a business that needs a quality system to be developed from the beginning and put into use across their operation it could take two to three months. It would take longer if multiple sites are involved, though additional people could be provided to reduce the time.
Our charges are usually based on timesheet plus expense records so that you pay the least cost possible. For a 40-hour week of consultation our fees will be around $6K, plus expenses. So a four week assignment will cost about $25K, plus expenses. If preferred, we can work to a lump-sum quote that we develop after visiting your operation. That visit, and the lump-sum quote preparation, is charged to you at the above mentioned rates.
I hope that you have the information you need. Please contact me if you have further questions.
My best regards to you,
Lifetime Reliability Solutions HQ