3 reasons you might find it hard to get ISO 9001 Certification

It’s easy to see dollar signs with the big mining, construction, and civil construction projects as well as government health forecast for Australia over the next five years — especially when smaller projects are few and far between and don’t pay nearly as well.

The problem is, you often need to spend a few dollars before the money starts rolling in.

For example, most major tenders require you to have ISO 9001 (Quality Assurance) certification as a bare minimum.

If you’re working in construction related industries then AS/NZS 4801 certification will also be a requirement.

You may also be required to be certified to ISO 14001 Environmental Management.

All this comes at a cost (or an investment, depending on how you look at it).

However, just because you need certification to one or more of these management standards, and just because you’ve got the money to invest, doesn’t mean it will be easy for you to obtain it.

In fact, there are …

Three reason why you may struggle to get ISO or AS/NZS certification for your business:

  1. You hire a consultant who isn’t clear about how to effectively implement management standards such as ISO 9001 in your particular business or industry …
  2. You hire a consultant who isn’t experienced enough to see the project through to completion in a timely manner … or …
  3. You try to do it yourself while juggling all your other responsibilities.

Notice none of these reason have anything to do with what your business actually does, how big or small it is, or how long you’ve been in business?

That’s because if you’re in business, and if you’ve conducted at least one transaction — regardless of the size — you can gain certification for any of the three management systems mentioned above.

Whether or not you can gain certification is not the problem. How you go about it might be.

There are three basic methods you can choose from to get the certifications you need:

  1. Do your own research and try to work through the process yourself either from scratch or by using a free or paid template downloaded from the Internet or copied from another business
  2. Hire a consultant who follows a template downloaded from the Internet or “borrowed” from another business
  3. Hire a consultant who knows the standard inside and out. Someone who can create a management system that is uniquely customized to your business’ “way of doing things”

Here are some of the challenges you may face with the three options above (non are fool proof)

Option #1: Do your own research and try to work through the process yourself:

If you choose the path of doing it yourself you’ll inevitably run in to road blocks. For starters, unless you’ve done it before, the wording in the standards can be difficult to comprehend. You’ll quickly start to wonder if your reading a whole new language. Does this really apply to my business?, you may ask.

Second, the process will probably take 6 to 12 months while you put aside time here and there while juggling other important projects and business functions. If it becomes too difficult you may even push it to the side and put off getting compliant until after the new year. Question is, which new year?

Finally, you’ll reach a point where you are not entirely sure you are on the right track. At which point you’ll be tempted to call in a consultant, something you probably should have done from day one.

Option #2: Hire a consultant who follows a template:

The second option may at first appear to be the easy way to meet the requirements of certification. After all, it’s cheaper. And for good reason: You get what you pay for.

However, your business already is the template for how your management system works. Hiring a consultant who uses a template downloaded from the Internet or “borrowed” from another business is like saying your business is just like every other business in your industry.

Sure there may be similarities. But do you want to adopt your competitors way of doing things … or do want to keep running you business the way you do now?

The more you try to fit your business into someone else’s mold the more change you’ll be required to make. Usually the changes prescribed by a template are unnecessary and not required by the standard.

Worse yet, if the auditor catches wind of the fact that your consultant fitted your business into a template he or she immediately becomes skeptical. One of the questions on the auditors mind will be: “Is this company truly following the mangement standard or are they trying to pull the wool over my eyes with a template that looks good but doesn’t serve the business?”

Finally, it should be obvious that the more changes you make the more resistance you’ll face inside your business. Templates usually force you to make changes prescribed by the template.

Which brings us to …

Option #3: Hire a consultant who knows the standard inside and out. Somebody who can create a management system that is uniquely customized to your business’ “way of doing things”:

Don’t get me wrong. I advocate consulting because we are a consulting firm. However, consulting is not fool proof either.

I’ve met with a number of business owners who hired a consultant to complete their ISO 9001 preparation only to fork out a lot of money (tens of thousands of dollars in some cases) with nothing to show for it.

That said, hiring the right consultant with a proven method for getting you successfully to certification is still the fastest and cheapest way to gain certification in the long run.

For example, we have invested over 11 years into developing and refining our method for helping companies of all shapes and sizes get certified quickly and easily.

If you hire us, we can help you achieve certification in 90 days or less.

We’ve done this for over 200 companies in the past 11 years. Even skeptical companies who didn’t believe it was possible. Some were certified in less than 20 days. One was certified to two standards — Quality and Safety! — in 16 days to meet the requirements of an urgent tender.

All our clients pass their certification the very first time they get audited.

All are pleasantly surprised at how easy the process is.

And all easily maintain certification without needing further help from us.

You can read over 40 testimonials and case studies on our website here: http://quality-assurance.com.au/endorsements/

We work with clients in mining, engineering, drilling, construction, civil works, architecture and design, … you name it and we’ve probably helped someone in that industry gain ISO 9001 certification successfully and quickly.

We work with businesses of all shapes and sizes. From one man operations to businesses with 1200 people spread across every state of Australia. And everything in between.

Bottom line:

If you need certification to win tenders we can have you certifiedand hopefully winning more tenders — in 90 days or less.

If you need ISO 9001 to make your business easier to manage … our consulting services will have your business ticking along like a well-oiled machine in 90 days or less.

Of course, we don’t tell you how to run your business. You’re the experts on how your business functions. We just help you implement ISO 9001 and gain certification in the least amount of time with minimum fuss.

If you want to gain ISO 9001 certification (or ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, or AS/NZS 4801) then I’d love to talk more about this over the phone.

Call me and talk during office hours Monday to Friday on 1800 503 401.

Or, click here to get a free quote to help you gain certification fast.