Just like you need to hire the right person for a job, you need to get the right certification body for your organisation too. But how do you make this important choice?
Essentially, choosing the right certification body is the same as choosing the right person to fill a specific role – skills, experience and personality, or in this case, the culture of the body you’ll be dealing with.
You want a certification body that has all the skills needed to turn your dreams into success. That means looking for a certification body with:
- UKAS or equivalent accreditation – working with a body that has UKAS or similar accreditation means you get an impartial and robust assessment.
- Competence – with UKAS accreditation, the organisation you are working with is deemed competent in the service the services that they provide. To maintain their own accreditation, an organisation will need to regularly prove that they remain competent in key areas of their work.
- A good portfolio of standards – many businesses opt for standards that are key to expanding and stabilising their business in the short term, such as for tenders but look to the future too, considering which other ISOs may be useful.
A certification body that has a depth of experience will make all the difference to how smoothly the process unfolds. Look for an organisation that is:
- An established and trusted certification body – with their niche firmly established in the marketplace, working with an established company is key.
- Has experienced assessors – possibly the most important part of the process is the assessor you’ll work with. They need to understand your business as well as the industry in which you operate.
- Known for having a varied customer base – you want to work with an organisation that can show a broad range and depth to their client base. This way, you can have the confidence that they can deal with businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Character and personality within an organisation are often referred to as culture. It is the way that things are done, the attitude towards the work, success and how problems are solved. Essentially, you are looking for a certification body that offers:
- Similar style and culture to you – this way, neither of you is grappling to understand why things are done in a certain way. This also improves efficiency and continuity, important during long term projects.
- Support – a certification body is not a consultancy service but you need a body that will give you the right support at the right time.
What about cost?
Of course, there are budget concerns to take into account but try to avoid making this the only factor on which you base a decision. You want a certification body that offers the right number of days at a fair price. To make the right decision for you, consider not just the price but the quality of the service and experience they will bring to the process.