How Much Does ISO 9001 Implementation & Certification Cost?

Shift happens as a startup grows; you might have been following a reactive approach to resolve issues, but a proactive mode of fixing issues is a must for sustainable and scaleable business growth. As your business is growing big, you must have the solutions for issues before they ever become a problem.

ISO 9001 implementation and certification is the way for startups and small businesses to get on sustainable growth track as it improves procedures, reduces churn and waste, improves quality control and devises a continual growth culture. Here you can read more information on ISO 9001. And this article discusses complete list of ISO certification benefits for startups and small businesses in particular.

Well, the cost of ISO 9001 implementation & certification is normally the first and most important point that startup founders and CEOs would like to discuss. The price of ISO 9001 implementation depends on various factors, and honestly, there cannot be a precise estimate before you start a project. But yes, if you get familiar with the standards, you can have a fair idea about the overall cost of getting your startup ISO 9001 certified.

This article will discuss the key elements that can have big impact on the costs of ISO 9001 implementation. Knowing these key elements and analyzing your startup accordingly, it will be fairly easy for you to make budget for the project.

1- Cost of Training; the first and the most important area to focus on during the implementation project is to gain the necessary knowledge required for ISO 9001 implementation and later maintenance of the QMS (Quality Management System). Depending upon the nature of business, most of your employees, or at least those who are involved in the implementation, must have to attend required training sessions and spend time in reading relevant literature and understanding the same.

The cost of the training can be very high, however, with proper research you can find a lot of cost effective online ISO 9001 training courses and literature that best meet your requirements.

2- Cost of Consultancy; as a fact of the matter, training itself won’t be enough to successfully implement ISO 9001 and get certified. You must have someone in your team who has hands on experience of implementation, either and employee or an external consultant. In both the cases, it is going to add up to the costs.

You may plan to move forward with implementation without using professional help, however, the chances of getting stuck are higher and you may end up wasting a great amount of time on activities that won’t move you forward. So, do get help of a professional, however you can keep the costs minimum by hiring a consultant on hourly basis rather than a full time professional and here is a big list of ISO 9001 consultants that may help you find the right one.

3- Cost of Workforce; hiring an experienced ISO 9001 consultant can make things super easy for your organization, however, do not expect the consultant or online solution to do the complete implementation. In fact, the ISO 9001 can be implemented by your employees only. They will be dealing with the implementation activities either as an additional task or in replacement of their regular assignments. In both the cases, you have to incur additional costs to keep the organizational workflow on regular track.

This slideshare presentation briefly explains the role of employees in ISO 9001 implementation and what should you expect.

4- Cost of ISO 9001 Registrar & Certification; the ultimate aim of ISO 9001 implementation is to get the project certified. The ISO 9001 certification is the proof that your organization has managed to implement the standard successfully, and your future efforts will be bringing continual improvements. The cost of certification particularly depends on the number of employees, and the number of locations covered by the QMS scope. Read this article for details on how to define the scope of the QMS according to ISO 9001.

In order to cut the ISO 9001 certification costs, you may consider shrinking the scope to most important locations only and later to widen the scope, but it may not be the right idea in all cases. Moreover, the certification costs also depend on the certification body you choose. In case of a global brand you will need to choose world-wide recognized certification body like PRIRegistrar, while a local brand can get certified from a local certification body.

5- Post Implementation & Certification Cost; once your organization passed the certification audit, there will be surveillance audits for the next three years, and a recertification audit. The costs of surveillance and recertification are not too high, however, to maintain the standards you have to incur additional costs in terms of employees’ time spent.

The Bottom Line:

The cost of ISO 9001 implementation, compliance and certification depends on various factors including type of business, size of organization, the implementation options you choose and the complexity of procedures. Good preparation is the key to success and to do so, you must do proper research, conduct a thorough analysis, and have appropriate discussions with right people to find the best possible solutions that meets your requirements.