How to Work With Your ISO 9001 Consultant

June 21, 2012 by  Filed under: Management 

When going through the assessment process for ISO 9001 you are likely to be in very close contact with your ISO 9001 Consultant to facilitate and streamline the process. They are there to act as your expert and guide you through the process, highlighting where you need to step up to comply with the international quality management standard and also helping you to put into action the requirements needed for the certification.

The role of an ISO 9001 consultant is now rather different to what it used to be. Before the changes to the administration and assessment process, ISO 9001 consultants would come into your business for anywhere up to 6 to 9 months to document and map out your quality management processes. This was essential to the ISO 9001 assessment and following the time spent in your business the ISO 9001 consultant would provide you with a huge manual detailing all of your processes. The manual would also tell you where you needed to improve and how you could achieve ISO 9001. This is a rather long winded process which was transformed by QMS, a certification body. Because the process is now much shorter and more cost efficient the certification has been opened to a wider range of people.

Now, your ISO 9001 consultant will come in to your business for just 1 to 4 days, which gives them sufficient time to carry out a gap analysis – looking at all of your current processes and comparing them to the requirements needed for ISO 9001. They’ll suggest changes for you to make while they write up your ISO 9001 manual which includes details of your quality management procedures, your aims and goals for your quality management systems, your quality policy and other documentation. Once you can show evidence that the suggested changes have been made to your system to ensure that you comply with the standard your ISO 9001 consultant will be able to award you with your certificate.

The change in the process really revolutionised the way ISO certifications worked, and rather than having to fork out a small fortune for an ISO 9001 consultant to come in for months on end smaller companies are now able to afford the standard. This is definitely a plus point for small businesses as if they put their Quality Management System in early, it will be more effective as they continue to grow.

Mark Jones is writing on behalf of QMS International PLC, a UK-based company providing ISO certifications worldwide. Their ISO 9001 consultants work in the new model, making the ISO 9001 certification process hassle free and both cost and time effective. Visit their website to find out more

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