Finding the best consultant for ISO management systems is crucial, especially for businesses seeking consultants for the first time. This is where ISO consultants come in.
Like us, many businesses use consultants to assist with the implementation of their quality management systems, with the aim of obtaining or retaining accreditation to an ISO management systems standard. After implementation, several businesses continue to work with the consultant to serve as their internal auditor or management representative.
ISO consultants can there be highly beneficial to your team, whether on a short-term or long-term contract. But choosing well is crucial.
What should you consider when searching for a consultant?
Decide why you want to hire an ISO consultant and be clear about it
Management systems and management system standards across organisational functions cover a variety of management disciplines. Determining the level of assistance and resources you need depends on where you are starting.
The roles that consultants perform are:
- Advise managers on implementation by interpreting the standards
- Project management, either in full or in part, implementation
- Implementation by supplying an additional hands-on resource to carry out plans or particular tasks, like internal audit
- Support through regular activities such as internal audits
Consultants can help in the following situations:
When the organisation has no formal management system
Here, the difficulty is in determining what is lacking before making comprehensive implementation plans. In this circumstance, asking an ISO consultant to complete a gap analysis and provide a cost estimate for implementation may be helpful.
Whenever an organisation uses a combination of informal management methods and formal management methods
ISO consultants help structure the quality management system and ensure that all requirements of the management system standard are met.
In accordance with a management systems standard, the company has implemented a formal management system
In this situation, the consultant might carry out internal audits, make sure the system is prepared for certification audits, or provide guidance on choosing certification bodies.
Always search for relevance and experience
It’s crucial to choose a consultant based on relevant experience for a productive working relationship and management system implementation.
The factors you need to consider in this case are as follows:
Certification and training
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing an experienced ISO consultant is their certification and training. The consultant should be certified by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) in order to be able to provide you with the best possible advice and guidance. Furthermore, the consultant should also have extensive training in ISO standards and the implementation process.
The consultant should have worked with businesses in your industry in order to understand the specific challenges and opportunities that you face. This experience will be invaluable in helping the consultant develop a customised plan for your business.
When considering an experienced ISO consultant, it is also important to look at their track record. The consultant should have a proven track record of successfully implementing ISO standards within businesses. This track record will give you confidence that the consultant knows what they are doing and will be able to help your business achieve its ISO goals.
Finally, you should also ask for references from past clients. These references will be able to tell you first-hand about the quality of the consultant’s work and whether or not they would recommend them to others.
Establish rapport while understanding how they work
You need to establish a good connection as your consultant will be spending a lot of time in your business and will have access to many internal operations and personnel. Understanding the implementation process is crucial to ensuring that both sides collaborate effectively.
To achieve successful implementation, your consultant will need your time, effort, and resources; be sure you are aware of their expectations and equipped to fulfil them.
Check your budget and get a quote
Budgets are rarely limitless, yet choosing an ISO consultant shouldn’t be primarily based on price. To make sure that expectations are satisfied, expertise, experience, and rapport are crucial. Here is a list of everything that comprises the fee:
- Consultant personal fee
- Travel and conveniences
- The proprietor of the management system
- Service level agreements
- Availability of services when and where needed
Before committing to an ISO consultant, it may be helpful to compare costs with at least three other consultants.
Following this guide to choosing a good ISO consultant should give you the confidence to choose the right consultant for your management system implementation and improvement. For more information, please call us for a free consultation anywhere in the UK.