If you are considering ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001 or ISO 27001 certification, then you’re probably considering engaging an ISO Management Systems Consultant to help develop, implement or maintain the system.
Throughout the certification process, your ISO consultant plays a pivotal role in designing and implementing processes and setting your organisation up to meet Standards requirements – all while informing and educating you along the way.
There is no doubt that management system consultants bring value to your organisation. Partnering with an experienced and reputable ISO consultant who has deep technical knowledge of relevant ISO standards and industrial expertise, ensures an effectively implemented management system that brings tangible business benefit.
- Consultants have extensive knowledge in the ISO standards, allowing for efficient use of time and resources in implementing a management system.
- Consultants provide an objective approach to process review and can therefore bring improvement opportunities.
- Consultants bring insights into best-practices and provide guidance on how it can be contextualised to suit your organisation.
- Consultants will ensure the implementation of your management system will be maintained and used as a tool to drive continuous improvement.
- As an external resource, consultants can ensure the implementation project delivers on-time, with minimal operational disruptions.
Like any partnership, it’s important to make the right decision. Using a structured approach in choosing your consultant, ensures you can successfully achieve your certification objectives in a timely manner, as well as have a compatible partner.
A Structured Approach to Selecting an ISO Consultant
1. Establish a Committee of Employees
Establishing a committee of employees from different departments ensures an accurate representation of the organisation. The committee will serve as a point of communication for the consultant.
The committee is responsible for:
- Defining the objectives for hiring – it could be advisory, management of implementation, implementation or ongoing support.
- Defining the project milestones – ensures timelines are met, and key priorities are achieved.
- Establishing requirements to assess consultants against – includes a list of “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves”.
2. Identify Potential Eligible Consultants
Your consultant will be spending a lot of time in your organisation, accessing your processes and meeting with your employees, so it’s important to select a consultant that is compatible with your organisation, its context and direction.
You should consider:
- How much industry experience does the consultant have?
- What experience does the consultant have implementing your desired management system?
- Does the consultant have relevant standard technical knowledge to ensure certification compatibility?
3. Evaluate List of Consultants
The committee should agree to a consultant that best suits the project objectives based on experience, expertise and qualifications.
You should consider:
- Does previous work history match a similar scope to your organisation?
- Do you have access to client referrals, testimonials or reviews?
- What qualifications does the consultant have?
- How will the consultant approach the project?
- Does the approach suit your organisation and its culture?
- How will the consultant charge, and what is included in the fee?
It’s important to remember that as you implement a management system, your top management and employees must understand their roles, responsibilities and accountabilities. This ensures they can use it, and continue to meet its conformance requirements.