To help you make an informed decision, CertificationCollective have identified 7 areas for you to take note of when picking a certification provider - click the areas that interest you most:
If you require certification to meet the requirements of a tender / client request, the certification body certifying you will most likely need a form of accreditation to the standards you are looking to achieve.
*The 3 main (but not limited to) Accreditation Bodies in Australia are: JAS-ANZ, UKAS and ANAB.
Certification bodies vary in size from global organisations to small businesses. This means their office/s (and more importantly) their resources (the auditors) may or may not be located near your business.
Note: certification bodies can charge extra for travel & accomodation. We’ll cover this more in the costs section.
Certification body experience and Auditor experience is key. Depending on your reason for certification, the experience of the certification body and the auditor allocated to your business will have an impact on your certification journey.
An auditor has the ability to add value to your business beyond a certificate on the wall. Although they are not consultants, they are empowered to make ‘observations’ and note ‘areas for improvement’ that are not requirements but potentially beneficial to your business growth (depending on their experience with your industry and what is practical - these insights could be priceless).
Most certification bodies have an existing pool of clients and will book audits months in advance (if possible).
Although they are always happy to accommodate for new clients, if time is of the essence and there is a deadline for certification - make sure you plan in advance and / or find a certification body that can promise dates before accepting contracts.
We’re assuming your business will seek more than 1 quote (we recommend 3). To ensure you are comparing certification bodies pricing fairly, we suggest calculating the total cost for certification over the 3 years - this should be your benchmark.
Pricing elements to look for:
Every certification body has their ‘value add’. These can vary from free engagement certificates (states you are undergoing certification), to free training and or software inclusions.
Look into these and see if your certification body is offering something that meets your needs (now and in the future).
Undoubtedly these will need to be reviewed and accepted by your company, however here are some clauses to look for and note when comparing:
*IAF MD2 is a mandatory document for certification bodies to follow setting the principles surrounding the ‘Transfer of Accredited Certification of Management Systems’
Ref: IAF MD2:2017 - Clause 0. Introduction - paragraph 3: “This document provides minimum criteria for the transfer of accredited certification. Certification bodies may implement procedures or actions which are more stringent than those contained herein provided that a client organization's freedom to choose a certification body is not unduly or unfairly constrained.”