Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Here at ISO Quality Services Ltd we like to ensure that ISO Certification is easy to understand and in line with that philosophy, here are the most frequently asked questions that we are asked by prospective clients. If your question does not appear here, please contact us and we will endeavour to answer it.

Most Popular FAQs

  • What is ISO certification?

    ISO certification is a seal of approval from a third party body that a company runs to one of the international standards developed and published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

    The ISO are an independent, non-governmental international organization who brings together experts to share knowledge and develop international standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges.

  • Why would I want ISO certification?

    ISO certification shows your key stakeholders that you have a well-run business that has structure, is stable and ready for growth.

    Each ISO standard has its own benefits, for example:

    • ISO 9001 helps put your customers first
    • ISO 27001 protects your systems, data and reputation
    • ISO 14001 reduces your environmental impact
    • ISO 45001 helps you protect your people
    • ISO 22301 protects your business from disruption

    Common benefits across all ISO standards include:

    • Increased efficiency
    • Reduced costs
    • Improved customer satisfaction
    • More engaged employees
    • Reduced risks
    • Reduced insurance premiums
    • Helps with tendering

    By maintaining an ISO certification you are proving your organisations commitment to achieving your objectives and increasing the credibility and customer confidence in your product or service.

  • What does ISO certification cost?

    ISO certification costs vary dependent on the size of an organisation and the level to which the company is already run with regards to processes and procedures. If you decide to implement more than one standard at the same time, there are some preferential fees available. We offer a simple, cost effective service with flexible payment terms.  You can request a quote here.

    Due to our proposals being bespoke and the number of variables that can affect the cost of implementation, we do like to meet our potential clients so as to get to know them a little better before providing them with costings

ISO Certification and Our Approach

  • What is ISO accreditation and is it different to ISO certification?

    In principle, the systems are the same, it’s who certificates you and how they do it that’s different.

    ISO accreditation or ISO accredited certification is when a company has achieved an ISO and / or a BS standard by a certification body that is accredited by UKAS or equivalent. Every country has its own version of UKAS (i.e. for Ireland its INAB) and although they are not akin to government, they act as the governing body for certification companies.

    ISO accredited certification is only available after the assessment from an accredited body and are unable to provide you with any help or support, they can only conduct the assessment and give you a pass or a fail.

    ISO certification providers like ourselves however can fully support you with your implementation.  The support we provide includes templates for documentation, guidance during visits and telephone support.  We will also visit you twice a year; for a support visit to help with any issues you’re facing and at your annual re-certification audit.

    For many customers, certification is more than adequate as it provides the structure needed to improve their business and is well recognised. Should you require ISO accredited certification (e.g. if a potential customer, trade association or regulatory body demands it), we can provide ISO Consultancy services to help you get your management system ready for assessment by an accredited body. This helps to increase your chance of passing the assessment first time!

    You can read more in our article: ‘Certification vs Accredited Certifcation: So What’s the Difference Anyway?

  • Do you offer UKAS consultancy?

    Yes! No matter where you are on your UKAS journey, we can help you achieve UKAS Accredited Certification in an average of six to nine months.  If required, we can also help you source an accredited certification partner to assess your business and be with you during your UKAS assessment.

    It is worth noting that for many customers, ISO certification is more than adequate as it provides the structure needed to improve their business and is well recognised.

    Should you require UKAS Accredited Certification, you can request a quote here.

  • Can I get ISO certification as a start-up business?

    Yes! ISO certification is suited to any business turning over £250,000 per annum.

    If your turnover is smaller or you’re unable to commit resources to a regular programme of auditing and certification, take a look at our ISO Lite Toolkit.

  • How long is an ISO certification valid for?

    Every provider is different.  Here at ISO Quality Services, our certificates are valid for one year and are subject to annual re-certification audits to ensure you are still compliant.  In addition, we also provide annual support visits to provide you with extra support with any areas you are struggling with.  Failure to be re-certificated is therefore rare.

    We believe it takes around three years for a management system to fully mature and by this point, over 90% of customers recognise the value their management system provides.

  • Is there a way to try our certification before committing to full certification?

    Yes, you can get a better idea of ISO certification through:

    • ISO ConsultancyWe can conduct a GAP analysis, helping to identify where you are now and where you need to be in order to reach compliance.  During your appointment you will benefit from the advice and support of our consultants.  Request a quote.
    • ISO Lite Toolkit: ISO Lite is the most flexible way to start implementing management standards if you are a startup or smaller SME.  Find out more here.
  • How can you support me through the process?

    We pride ourselves on the support we offer our clients from initial assessment through to ISO certification and beyond.

    We will provide you with as much support as you require to include:

    • A Designated Account Manager: You will be assigned an Account Manager who is on hand to support you with any questions you have regarding the day to day running of your management standard.
    • Access to our Client Area: You will find a wealth of information on our Client Area to include forms, templates, guidance notes which includes webinars and video tutorials.
    • Annual Support Visits: Our annual support visits are there to provide you with additional support in the areas you feel less confident with, whether that’s ensuring you’re compliant for your next re-certification audit or need help running a Management Review Meeting. These visits are completely flexible and lead by you to ensure you feel confident in the day to day running of your management system.
    • ISO TrainingAll of our training courses are designed to develop your understanding and ability to run an effective management system.  Whether you want to learn about each clause individually or better understand a particular aspect, we offer both face to face and online training to suit various learning styles.  Find a course here.
    • ISO ConsultancyIf you feel you would benefit from additional support we also offer bespoke ISO consultancy.  As with the annual support visits, these consultancy days will be lead by you and can cover a variety of topics for example, you may want to improve your current systems, need additional support with your auditing system or no longer have the skills in-house to effectively run your management system.   Whatever the reason, we can help.
  • Do you offer training?

    Yes.  All of our training courses are designed to develop your understanding and ability to run an effective management system.  Whether you’re considering implementation or are already involved with the day to day running of your management system, you’ll have something new to learn.

    We offer a variety of training styles to suit individual learning requirements either in the classroom, online or at your premises.  Find out more here.

  • We already have ISO certification; can we transfer our certification to you?

    Yes.  Simply, get in touch with our team to find out more.

    You can also read about how the Black Country Chamber of Commerce transferred their certification to us in our case study here.

  • We’ve already got CHAS and Safe Contractor – why would we need ISO 45001 certification?

    ISO 45001 underpins a company’s entire health and safety management system. It gives the company the framework to manage the health and safety system as a whole, including on and off site working. Companies who run a ISO 45001 system in conjunction with either CHAS or Safe Contractor find it much easier to manage the overall health and safety of its employees, visitors and customers. It allows the company to tie together every aspect of the its activities that may have a health and safety risk attached.

    You can find out more about ISO 45001 here.

  • We have the Cyber Essentials Scheme, do we still need ISO 27001 Information Security?

    ISO 27001 incorporates all the requirements of the Cyber Essentials Scheme and more.

    ISO 27001 Information Security management system considers the security of all data whether that’s physical or digital.  It ensures that you give consideration to risks generated by people and processes as well as by systems or external factors.

  • We have a security policy in place. Why do we need an ISO 27001 Information Security management system?

    Possession of a security policy by itself does not prevent breaches; staff need to understand it and put it into practice.

    An ISO 27001 Information Security Management System promotes that adequate training and records are in place for all staff so that they know what is expected of them.  This can prevent any accidental breaches of security.

    You can find out more about ISO 27001 here.

  • As a company we have back-ups, virus protection and passwords, why do we need ISO 27001 Information Security?

    Threats to information security do not come through IT alone. Unhappy staff, resentful ex-employees, deceitful managers and competitors can all have access to your confidential information and can use this to the detriment of the business and its reputation. This can be purposeful or accidental. Information is not confined to electronic format but encompasses all forms of communication including verbal and hard copy.

    The ISO 27001 promotes that adequate training and records are in place for all staff so that they know what is expected of them. This can prevent any accidental breaches of security.

    You can find out more about ISO 27001 here.

Implementing and Running a Management System

  • How long does it take to achieve ISO certification?

    We aim for a 6-8 week delivery period, but again this can vary from organisation to organisation. We will never delay the process, however we understand that things can happen that may mean you require a small delay. We will accommodate this where possible; however for those who are looking to achieve ISO certification as soon as possible, we will endeavour to ensure you obtain your ISO certification within our standard timescales.

    After the quotation has been accepted and the deposit payment has been received we offer all of our clients a letter that you can send to your potential clients or include with tenders, to confirm that you have entered the process and that you will be fully certified within 6-8 weeks. This is normally sufficient to move forward with a tender process. This can then be followed up by an announcement letter stating that you have achieved the ISO certification.

    Should you require UKAS Accredited Certification, this process will take an average of 6-9 months as you will need to gather evidence before your Stage 1 Assessment by an Accredited Certification Body.  We can provide ISO Consultancy services to help you get your management system ready for assessment by an accredited body, therefore increasing your chance of passing the assessment first time.  Find out more here.

  • How do I obtain ISO certification?

    Our simple six step process makes getting certified easy!

    Our main ethos is to keep the process for you, the customer, as simple as possible. We undertake an initial assessment of the company, to see where the company currently stands with regards to the chosen ISO certification. From this we make a series of recommendations on what needs to be done to become compliant (we will not make any major procedure changes unless absolutely necessary).

    We will then draw up a plan for implementing the recommendations (to be completed over the next 6-12 months), complete as many of them for you as possible, write your manual and mandatory standard operating procedures (as required by the standard) and then 6-8 weeks after the first initial assessment visit come back to present the manual with your ISO certification.

    You will be certified from this point forward. The systems are focused on continual improvement, therefore we will visit you on a regular basis to ensure that you are on track with the recommendations and ready for re-certification year on year.

    You can request a quote here.

  • Can we achieve ISO certification remotely?

    Yes.  Like many businesses we have had to find dynamic ways of working during the coronavirus pandemic.

    We’ve recently created two webinars to demonstrate how certification can be achieved remotely without compromising on the depth of enquiry:

  • Which ISO standards do we need?

    There are over 20,000 different management standards, therefore finding the ones that are right for your business can sometimes be confusing. The best place to start is ISO 9001 Quality Management, as this is the core standard that most of the other well-known standards are based on. It’s focused on customer service and ensuring your customer receives the service they want, at a time that’s relevant for a cost that’s fair.  Based on your company’s activities there may be additional ‘bolt on’ standards that you may require or that might complement the business, for example:

    • ISO 27001 protects your systems, data and reputation
    • ISO 14001 reduces your environmental impact
    • ISO 45001 helps you protect your people
    • ISO 22301 protects your business from disruption

    This best way to determine which management system is right for your business is to discuss your needs with us.

  • We require ISO certification of a standard not currently listed on your website, can you still help?

    Our assessors wealth of knowledge and expertise means we can assist you beyond the core ISO standards we offer.  Some examples include:

    • ISO 22716 Cosmetics – Good Manufacturing Practices
    • ISO 13485 Medical Devices – Quality Management Systems
    • BS 7858 Security Screening

    If you require ISO certification for a Management Standard not listed, please contact us to discuss your requirements.

  • How much should we have in place before you come in?

    There are no specific requirements as we will find the route that best suits you, whether that’s a full implementation or building on what you already have in place.

    Our approach is to support you through the entire process from initial assessment through to ISO certification and beyond and we will provide you with as much support as you require.

    Either way, we will always start the processes by conducting a GAP analysis to identify where you are now and where you needed to be in order to achieve compliance.

  • What do I need to get prepared before the implementation?

    Once confirming you would like to go ahead with ISO Quality Services, we will provide you with an ISO Documentation checklist which will make up your ISO management system.

    Documents we look for vary per standard however, please don’t worry if you don’t have all of the documentation in place as we can assist you with putting this together with the support from one of our associates or forms provided on our client area.

  • How much time does it take to maintain once certified?

    When you start implementing a standard you will spend more time working on it, then you will once the system is embedded and matured within your system.

    The time it takes to maintain an ISO standard, really does depend on how much time you are willing to dedicate and how much you have in place at the starting point. However we find once a management system is fully in bedded you will spend an average of 6 hours week maintaining it.

  • What do I need to do to maintain my Management System once certified?

    From your visits you will receive recommendations which will help / tell you what you need you need to do.  However, there are regular exercises that need to be completed regularly such as internal audits, document control and management review meetings. These will help you maintain your system.

  • Do we need to have a team looking after the ISO or would it be the responsibility of one person?

    This would depend on the size of your business and how much resource you are willing to dedicate to the ISO. However we always advise whatever the size of the business, more than one person is responsible / has knowledge of the ISO and how it works within your business.

  • What is the difference between a support visit and a re-certification audit?

    Support Visit

    Our support visits are there to provide you with additional support in the areas you feel less confident with, whether that’s ensuring you’re compliant for your next re-certification audit or need help running a Management Review Meeting.

    These visits are completely flexible and lead by you to ensure you feel confident in the day to day running of your management system.

    Re-certification Audit

    At your Re-certification audit we will assess whether you are still compliant to the management standard.

  • What is a remote audit and what can I expect?

    Remote audits are conducted online by meeting software such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype or Go2Meeting.

    Firstly, it’s worth noting that remote audits will feel different to physical audits.  Your account manager will run through the process in more detail bit the key points to remember are:

    • Assessors may need to split the time between speaking with you on the call and reviewing evidence whilst ‘offline’.
    • You will still have an opening and closing meeting and we will therefore need contact details of all attendees to ensure they are able to access the meeting.
    • Documentation will need to be sent prior to the audit to enable the assessor to review it before the meeting.  This can be sent on email or via file sharing platforms such as Dropbox or Microsoft SharePoint.
  • How can you support me through the process?

    We pride ourselves on the support we offer our clients from initial assessment through to ISO certification and beyond.

    We will provide you with as much support as you require to include:

    • A Designated Account Manager: You will be assigned an Account Manager who is on hand to support you with any questions you have regarding the day to day running of your management standard.
    • Access to our Client Area: You will find a wealth of information on our Client Area to include forms, templates, guidance notes which includes webinars and video tutorials.
    • Annual Support Visits: Our annual support visits are there to provide you with additional support in the areas you feel less confident with, whether that’s ensuring you’re compliant for your next re-certification audit or need help running a Management Review Meeting. These visits are completely flexible and lead by you to ensure you feel confident in the day to day running of your management system.
    • ISO TrainingAll of our training courses are designed to develop your understanding and ability to run an effective management system.  Whether you want to learn about each clause individually or better understand a particular aspect, we offer both face to face and online training to suit various learning styles.  Find a course here.
    • ISO ConsultancyIf you feel you would benefit from additional support we also offer bespoke ISO consultancy.  As with the annual support visits, these consultancy days will be lead by you and can cover a variety of topics for example, you may want to improve your current systems, need additional support with your auditing system or no longer have the skills in-house to effectively run your management system.   Whatever the reason, we can help.
  • Do you offer training?

    Yes.  All of our training courses are designed to develop your understanding and ability to run an effective management system.  Whether you’re considering implementation or are already involved with the day to day running of your management system, you’ll have something new to learn.

    We offer a variety of training styles to suit individual learning requirements either in the classroom, online or at your premises.  Find out more here.

0330 058 5551

Opening Hours: 9am - 5pm Weekdays

Head office

Quality Suite, Oak House,
Everoak Industrial Estate,
Bromyard Road,
Worcester WR2 5HP
United Kingdom

Click here for directions
positivity passion professionalism dynamic deliver Authentic approachable

By using this website you agree to accept our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions

Google