Part 30: Getting Certified to ISO 9001:2015 - Selecting a Certification Body
Now that you have created your quality management system it’s time to seek certification.
The first thing you’ll need to do is to select a Certification Body (CB) to carry out your audit. These days there are plenty of CBs to choose from, so picking the right one for your organisation is no easy task. It pays to do your research, and to shop around.
Here are our top tips to choose your Certification Body:
- Are they accredited?
You’ll need to find out if they are accredited by a reputable body. It pays to only deal with CBs that are accredited by national Accreditation Bodies (AB). For example, here in New Zealand the AB is JASANZ. In the US it’s ANAB, and in the UK it’s UKAS.
- Ask for their industry experience, background, and expertise.
It is crucial that they understand what you do, how you do it and, most importantly, what is good quality and what is bad quality.
- Ask them if they can work in your scope.
If they haven’t got experience in your exact industry, kick them to the curb and find another. Request evidence that they can work in your scope. See the resumes of the proposed audit team.
- Ask your clients for recommendations.
At Mango we have hundreds of customers. We asked some of them for a recommendation for a CB because there’s nothing better than getting a recommendation from a trusted source.
- See references from the CB.
Ask the CB for any references from organisations that are in your industry and have used them in the past. Ask if you can talk to these reference sites too.
- See if they can meet your time frame for certification.
Some CBs are super busy so you need to check with them to ensure that you can book their auditors to do your audit when you want them to.
- Check the fee schedule.
Make sure the fee schedule is discussed and agreed upfront. There should be no surprises when the invoice arrives. CBs will withhold certificates if invoices haven’t been paid.
- Is the CB keen to establish a long term relationship?
It is good business practise to build a long term relationship with your CB to ensure that they continue to provide a good audit experience for you.
Here at Mango we decided on DQS (www.dqsausnz.com.au) based out of Melbourne in Australia.
DQS ticked all the boxes as listed above. In terms of responsiveness to our requests they really stood out, whether that was by email or by phone. We met with them. They took time to understand our business. They were very interested in Mango. We demo-ed the product to them. It has been a very positive start to what we hope will be a long-term relationship.
Tips for picking a certification body:
- Check that they are accredited.
- Check their industry experience, background, and expertise.
- Check that they work in your scope.
- Get client recommendations.
- Check their references.
- Can they meet your time frame for certification?
- Check their costings.
- Check if they are keen to establish a long term relationship.
View previous blogs in this series "How to Implement a QMS and Achieve ISO 9001 Certification":