What are the costs to obtain ISO 9001 certification?
In order to obtain an ISO 9001 certificate, your organisation must first implement a management system in accordance with the requirements of the ISO 9001 standard. After implementation, the management system must be tested by a certifying body. Before starting this process, it is nice to have an insight into the costs involved in this entire process.
Costs of implementing ISO 9001 certification
The costs of implementation depend on your approach and the amount of time that the organisation itself can and wants to invest in setting up an ISO management system. The most common ways are:
- Purchasing the standard and implementing it independently
- Following a training course
- Support by an external consultant
- Using an implementation tool such as My ISO Genius
Below we discuss the different methods and give an insight into the costs.
Purchasing the standard and implementing it independently
With this method you won’t have costs for training, tools or consultants. After all, you only purchase the standard. This can be done via NEN. You then set to work yourself reading the standard and determining the various working methods for meeting the requirements.
Despite the fact that this method involves the lowest costs for external factors, in practice it is often not the cheapest option. After all, you spend a lot of time studying the standard and figuring out the correct working methods. Standards are described in a complex way and therefore it is often difficult to determine exactly what should be done. Especially if you have little experience in reading standards, the time investment is very high.
Taking a training course
Various parties, for example our cooperation partners KAM Consultants and Online ISO Academy, provide (online) training courses in the area of the ISO 9001 standard. These courses provide you with a clear and practical explanation of what the standard requires from you and you know how to get started. The fees for an ISO 9001 standard training course amount to an average of € 450 plus VAT for one-day courses and € 800 plus VAT for two-day courses. You can also use e-learning modules to reduce the costs.
The advantage of this method is that the standard is clearly explained and therefore you spend much less time figuring out what it really means. However, there are also disadvantages. For example, you receive all the information in a very short time, which means that you do not absorb all the information. In addition, you are often not given access to formats and sample documents, which means that you have to develop methods for many methods yourself. This means that you still have to spend a lot of time preparing for the implementation.
Using an external consultant
With the right knowledge, ISO 9001 management systems can easily be set up yourself. However, as indicated, acquiring this knowledge can take a lot of time. Therefore, many organisations choose to hire external consultants, such as our cooperation partner KAM Consultants. The advantage of this is that you get direct access to the knowledge of a consultant who will coach you by clearly telling you what needs to be done and who also provides the right formats. It is also possible to outsource the entire set-up and implementation of the ISO 9001 quality system to an external consultant. This way you spend as little time as possible on the activities and you are assured of a successful result. However, the investment that needs to be made for this is not desirable for every organisation. The costs of such an implementation project depend on the size of the organisation. Think of an investment of at least € 3,000, – excluding VAT for very small organisations to investments above € 20,000, – excluding VAT for organisations of 500 employees or more.
Many smaller organisations find the investment for an external consultant too big or nevertheless want to continue doing a lot themselves. In this case, the use of an implementation tool such as My ISO Genius is very interesting. The implementation tool explains in clear language what needs to be done to meet the requirements of ISO 9001, provides the corresponding formats and explains how these work. Where necessary, a helpdesk can be called upon.
The costs for these tools vary between € 1,000 excluding VAT and € 2,000 excluding VAT. This makes it only slightly more expensive than a training course, but you do get all the accompanying formats. It is therefore not surprising that more and more organisations that want to start implementing an ISO 9001 management system themselves are opting for this variant.
Cost of ISO 9001 certificate
Your ISO 9001 management system is set up and implemented, ready to be tested to obtain the ISO 9001 certificate. This requires an application to be made to a Certification Authority such as The Certification Leaders, a collaboration partner of My ISO Genius.
A certification path is entered into for 3 years. This is also the validity of the certificate. The first audit, the initial audit, is the largest investment. The subsequent annual control audits are less expensive.
The costs of certification are made up of the number of man-days, travel expenses, administration costs and any additional costs. All certification bodies charge approximately the same amount of time for conducting certification audits. This is because standards stipulate how much time an audit should take in order to comply with the set guidelines. However, there are many differences in the other costs. When comparing them, therefore, pay close attention to the other costs, such as possible costs for a follow-up of deviations. There often are large differences between the certifying institutions in this regard.
The costs for an ISO 9001 certification therefore vary considerably depending on the size of the organisation. This starts from € 2.750, – for the certification period of 3 years for small businesses. This amount is graduated per 5 employees.
More tips on how to save on the costs of a whole process for ISO 9001 certification? Read our blog about this subject.