ISO 9001, ISO 14001 & ISO 27001 – UKAS ISO Assessors or ISO Consultants?

ISO 9001, ISO 14001 & ISO 27001 – UKAS ISO Assessors or ISO Consultants?

There still seems to be general confusion between the Roles of the “Consultant” & the Assessor”.

It is like sitting a GCSE. Teachers give you the tools and prepare you for the exam, independent & impartial examiners mark your papers. Achieve the correct mark you pass. The independent marking is key to assuring standards.

For ISO 9001, ISO 27001 & ISO 14001 the consultant prepares you for a Certification Audit. This can involve documenting your compliant system, training, completing Internal Audits & general prep – The Assessor then independently & impartially performs the final audit to assess if you meet the particular standard. If so, you are certified.

So Why The Confusion?

Sometimes people like to maintain a Black Art in order to force you down a particular path. There are other clear reasons, these being just a few:

• Non UKAS accredited Certification Bodies offer both the system & the certificate, so as a 1 Stop Shop there is no difference between Consultant & Assessor. This means there is no independent assessment & it certainly isn’t impartial – hence not recognised by the informed

• Some UKAS Approved Certification Bodies offer training courses so will be unlikely to push you towards consultants as that could take away your need for a training course

• Some UKAS Approved Certification Bodies advise they are “Friendly” or “Approachable” and do not advocate the use of a consultant – often because they fear a consultant would refer you to a cheaper UKAS Approved Certification Body & they would lose the work

We would advise whatever route you chose get a few quotes & ensure they are quoting like for like. The 3 routes we would advise:

• You already have the internal expertise to fully prepare for the UKAS Assessment – get at least 3 quotes from independent UKAS Approved Certification Bodies, listed on UKAS website

• You think you are almost there but not 100% – either get a consultant to do a one-of Gap Analysis Audit, or select a training course (preferably from a UKAS Approved Cert Body, as it will give some comfort to the standard of the course).

• You feel you need solid guidance as you are not familiar with the standards or have no experience in implementing them (or perhaps just don’t have the time) – select a consultant & be sure to take references. Get more than 1 quote but ensure they are quoting like for like (& don’t forget the cost of the UKAS fees or your consultants attendance on those days).

If the final option is for you, you know where we are – enquiries@qmuk.co.uk