How to choose a QA Consultant (More than just price)

Choosing a consultant to assist you to develop a useful and compliant management system can be difficult and confusing. We have put together some questions below that may help you learn what to look out for.

After a consultant has been given the necessary information about your company, he should be able to answer the following questions:

How much time will you require from management and staff?
It would be good to get an idea how much time the consultant will require of management and staff over the whole process. Also whether these periods will be clustered or spread out. As everyone knows “TIME IS MONEY”.  A business that spends less on the consultant, but spends up big by having to make significantly more resources available than is needed can often be worse off in the end.

How long will it take for us to get certified?
The consultant should be able to give you a date to expect to be certified by. Taking too long  to get certified can often become a further burden on resources.

Can you give me an indication of the size the documentation will be for our company?
Typically documentation can be between 15 and 400 pages for a small company depending on the consultant. It is easy to see the difference between complying with 15 pages of documentation in comparison to 400 pages.

Will you be using a template?
Using a template to prepare for certification can cause problems. A template can often lead to more paperwork than you need, and therefore more processes that you don’t need.  If you try and fit yourself into someone else’s template manual, rather than make the standard fit into your business, then there will be much more work required and it will take longer to get certified.

Will we need any help managing our system after we are certified?
Sometimes a consultant holds back on giving you all the information, makes it look too hard, or simply builds themselves into your business to help themselves.  Quality management is actually quite simple to comply with and represents good business practice. You should expect to be able to maintain your own management system without any further help from a consultant.  HOW MUCH EXTRA WILL QUALITY ASSURANCE COST IF YOU KEEP A CONSULTANT ON THE PAYROLL EACH YEAR?

Consultants are currently not regulated. It is up to you to ensure you are receiving a quality service.


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