The most common question that comes to mind when an organization plans to acquire ISO certification is; how long will it take?
Organizations seek the answer to this question for planning purposes, resource allocation, for customers, project approvals and some other reasons.
While timescale cannot be estimated accurately due to countless variables, some factors are constant and help determine the entire timeframe right from the start till the end.
Let’s take a look.
#1 – Starting Point
For a company, that is already practicing a lot of requirements of ISO standards, the time taken by the journey will definitely be a short one. Sometimes, an organization may have already been practicing several such requirements, but the management system needs to be put in place.
This may include establishing more formal goals, performing risk assessments, holding management reviews and internal audits etc.
The most promising way to establish the starting point is to formally conduct a thorough gap assessment, either by hiring a third party or internally, to indicate the extra bits you must address.
#2 – Your Scope
With ISO, it is quite flexible to define your management system’s approach and thus your certification. You may exclude locations or offices, services and products and business aspects and parts of the organization. In short, if you decide on a broader scope, the longer it will take to acquire a certification of your chosen standard.
#3 – Resource Allocation
It is no brainer that by allocating a good amount of resources for the project, you are more likely to make substantial progress. Sometimes, the implementation of new processes and procedures are in addition to workers’ everyday job, and this works well in fostering commitment and understanding of the new approaches of working.
#4 – How Much You Want it
To ensure significant change in an organization, management commitment is indeed a pre-requisite as it is driven by various external factors like customer demand and profitability. If the organization is in dire need of change, inevitably, you will compete with other teams for resources.
This means that the implementation of ISO depends on the management’s perception of its usefulness within a company. So, if it will lead to more business, the timescale will be a shorter one, and you will ensure to finish it at the earliest possible.
All in all, these are some of the major factors that will help you determine how long will your organization take in acquiring online ISO certification of its choice. Thus, every company must decide how critical certification is, in comparison to other things that can be done using the resources and plan accordingly.