Wise Men Say Only Fools Rush In!

I recently spoke to a contact of mine who works in an organisation that had been informed by a consultant that he can gain them accreditation to ISO 9001 within 3 months.

I had to laugh. What else can you do?

Of course, the organisation isn’t seeking accreditation; it is considering certification to ISO 9001.

I fail to see how any company can implement and embed the requirements of ISO 9001 into a management system, perform a full set of internal audits, perform a review by management on the effectiveness of the system, engage with a certification company, have a stage 1 audit and then a successful stage 2 audit, all within 3 months. It’s clearly ludicrous.

This is an extreme example, but there are many people who under-estimate just how long the certification process actually takes.

If you are going to do this, do it right, and first time.

Rushing the implementation of a management system standard always results in an ineffective system that ultimately requires re-modelling.

A management system needs to add value and actually help organisations to systematically manage in relation to the nature of the standard.

Achieving certification takes as long as it takes! If I’m really pushed, I would suggest:

  • Small organisations up to 50 employees could implement ISO 9001:2015 in 6-9 months.
  • Medium-sized organisations up to 500 employees could implement in 8-12 months.
  • Larger organisations can take 12-15 months to implement.

But this is only a suggestion. In reality, there are other factors that contribute to the timescale:

  • Location/number of sites
  • Scope of the management system
  • Risks associated with the organisation and its products/services
  • Complexity
  • Technical requirements
  • Legislation
  • …..I could go on

Budget for the longer term. Provide good leadership and resource. Obtain specialist guidance if required. Be realistic. Obtain value.

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