Can you pass exams without a teacher? No, even if you are brilliant in the subject, you need a teacher to guide you, tell you what important sections of the textbook you must learn, what areas in the textbook are not really that important and how the theory within the book can be applied to the real world. In the same manner, you cannot clear ISO 9001 certification audit without the help of an ISO 9001 consultant, unless you have years and years of experience with the standard.
The ISO consultants will help you understand the requirements of the standard, and how they apply to your organisation, helping you identify the mandatory obligations that will allow you to achieve compliance and certification. In this article, we will talk about the role of an ISO 9001 consultant, the certification process in Australia and the approximate cost of the certification.
What is ISO 9001 and why is it so important?
ISO 9001 is one of the most loved and recognised standards across the globe. It provides recommendations for an organisation to build an effective, efficient and sustainable quality management system (QMS). A QMS is desirable as it helps to enhance the quality of an organisation’s products or services, helping them meet the requirements of the customers as well as enhance cost savings.
Meeting customer requirements is the only method through which any organisation can make repeated business. This is the reason why ISO 9001 is so popular as it allows organisations to identify and cater to the unique requirements of their target audience.
ISO 9001 certification process in Australia
To understand the role of ISO consultant, you must first understand how tedious the certification process is in Australia.
Businesses must first understand the requirement of ISO 9001 and identify how it applies to their organisations. Based on their understanding and the requirements of the standards, they must sieve through their documents in order to create quality manuals, quality policies and quality objectives that outline how their quality management system is working.
Then, it is necessary to stipulate the differences between the current practice and the recommendations outlined within the standard, going on to implement corrective actions that will minimise the gap between idealised and actual practice.
Tips on ISO 9001 process and implementation
As you can decipher, business owners face many issues in the certification process. Firstly, business owners have difficulty in understanding the technical jargon in ISO 9001. We need to understand the quasi- legal language, they have difficulty in implementing it within the organisation. Secondly, the biggest challenge is creating good documentation.
Good documentation serves as evidence of compliance and helps in future audits, but business owners simply do not have the expertise to categorise their documents.
Lastly, even if they implement the recommendations into the organisations and sort their documents, business owners are stumped when it comes to minimising the gap between idealised and actual practice as they do not have the knowledge of the industry specific best practices. This is where an ISO9001 consultant becomes helpful.
Role of ISO 9001 consultant in Australia
Your ISO 9001 consultant will explain how the ISO 9001 one standard applies and will benefit your organisation. After explaining the potential benefits of the standard, the consultant will give you a tentative timeline that will contain the details of the upcoming analysis. The main job of the ISO 9001 consultant in Australia is to conduct a detailed gap analysis.
Think of gap analysis as an assessment that helps to identify “gaps“ or deficiencies within your existing quality management system. When we use the term deficiency, we are not saying that your current management system is inferior in any manner, but we are implying that these deficiencies will be an obstacle in acquiring ISO 9001 certification.
To minimise these deficiencies, the ISO 9001 consultant will suggest corrective actions. This is where you get the bang on your buck.
As an experienced ISO 9001 consultant that is specialising in the field of your industry, the consultant will be able to give you customised practises that are utilised by the giants of your industry.
Not only will these recommendations help you achieve compliance, but will also help enhance the efficiency of your operations.
After implementing the corrective actions, the consultant will assess if you are ready to undergo a certification audit, based on their analysis, the consultant will help you draft an application and sort your documentation. If you want to know how to get ISO 9001 in Australia, the easiest solution for you is to use ISO consulting services at the ISO Council.
How do you choose an ISO consultant?
Without industry specific experience, you as an ISO consultant will not be able to guide you in an appropriate manner. Therefore, the first thing that you must consider is the field of speciality and their experience.
Aside from ensuring that the ISO consultant that you choose is experienced, well reputed and specialises in your industry, then there are certain critical considerations that you must factor in.
One of the most important considerations is the ISO consultant’s personal style. This is one of the most crucial factors as a contrasting personality will create unnecessary obstacles in your consultancy process. Similarly, ethics plays a big role. If during your initial consultations, the consultant does not hesitate to share the client notes of another organisation, see this as a red flag. Every organisation is entitled to respect, confidentiality and privacy, and such as should be seen as a breach of trust.
ISO 9001 cost in Australia
There is no universal answer to this question. The answer is extremely individualistic. Depending upon the size, complexity and nature of your organisation, the cost of certification will vary. However, for a medium-sized organisation with less than 1000 employees, the ISO 9001 cost in Australia is approximately $15,000 per annum.
An ISO 9001 consultant helps you navigate across the tedious certification process. Consultant will begin to explain the requirements of the standard, going on to highlight how implementation will benefit your organisation. Then, he or she will conduct a detailed gap analysis to identify the deficiency within your organisation so that the appropriate corrective actions can be incorporated.
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