One of the primary concerns of business owners is the charges of ISO consultant. They are under the misconception that investing on an ISO consultant will bring them no returns. However, like we have mentioned, it is a misconception and hiring an ISO consultant is always a good business investment, as their advice is irreplaceable. Unfortunately, there is no straight answer to the question, how much does an ISO consultant charge?
The charge depends upon a variety of factors such as the scope of your organisation, the number of employees you have, the number of sites and the current state of your management system is in. Additionally, it also depends on the role that the ISO consultant takes in your business. To help you understand why this variability exists in the charges of ISO consultant, we will discuss the various roles a consultant adopts in your organisation.
Why use an ISO consultant?
Whenever any business take the strategic decision to implement an ISO management system, it has a profound effect on the entire organisation. This decision is usually taken when the company is trying to expand, or is seeking to enter newer markets.
Organisations, especially the top management, in such cases wants to take reins of the entire process. To them, it may seem wise to allocate an existing person who sits logically in the structure, as the individual who is incharge of the entire implementation.
However, this decision stalls the entire process and further delays the certification process, unless the individual is specially trained in the ISO management system, they will experience challenges in its implementation.
This also aligns with the ISO standard itself, as in majority of the management systems, clause 7.2 focuses on competency.
In fact, the same clause urges organisations to take the right action to acquire competence when implementing a management system, so as to ensure effectiveness of their future decisions. The benefits of utilising an experienced and well-reputable ISO consultant with the relevant knowledge of your chosen standard are immense.
Not only will you experience an obstacle-free certification process, but you will also enjoy the relevant benefits of an ISO management system such as streamlining of processes, better employee productivity and lesser wastage of resources.
ISO certification process
To understand how the role of an ISO consultant changes as per the unique characteristics of each organisation, it is essential to have an understanding about the ISO certification process. The process begins by ensuring that every relevant clause that is applicable to your organisation is appropriately implemented.
To do this, ISO consultants conduct a gap analysis, where they observe your processes, people, products and practises, to identify any deficiencies. These deficiencies do not have to be weaknesses per say, but have to be in accordance to the stipulations of the chosen standard. As you can imagine, this gap analysis depends heavily on the scope of your organisation. Larger organisations would require a greater amount of effort on the part of the ISO consultant.
After conducting the gap analysis, you will receive a customised report to mitigate these deficiencies/non-conformances. The ISO consultant will guide you in every step of implementing the corrective actions to mitigate these issues. Now, the size of your organisation is directly reflected upon the size of the report, where a larger organisation will have a more detailed report. Evidently, the ISO consultant will have to spend more time and effort ensuring the implementation of corrective actions in a larger organisation, which is reflected in their charges.
Additionally, to ensure greater compliance, the ISO consultant will also go through all of your documentation to ensure their compliance. Again, documents are variable and dependent upon the complexity of each organisation, hence, there is no standard rate for this procedure.
What role will the ISO consultant have in your organisation?
The ISO consultant can assume a variety of roles in your organisation, but, ultimately, he or she is looking to improve your current situation. Having said that, the roles that they might assume include:
Subject Matter Expert (SME): An SME will provide the information that the project team can utilise in the decision-making process.
Hands-on worker: Such an individual will get involved in all the work and get their hands dirty. This individual will write the procedures, interview your process owners and assess the implementation of every corrective action.
The leader: If you already have a rudimentary management system, here, the consultant will assume the role of a leader, helping you coordinate different activities, so that the people can work together and deliver the desired outcome.
ISO consultant charge
As you may have gathered by reading the article, there is no standard quotation that ISO consultants can give. In fact, this is a fair practice as if you are given a standard quotation and your organisation is small to medium sized, you might be overcharged. Similarly, if your organisation is extremely large, and you are underpaying the ISO consultant, he or she may lose the motivation to really bring your management system to life. Having said that, if you have less than hundred employees, the standard rate is approximately $13,000- $14,000 per annum.