You got ISO certified. Congratulations!
Now you have to maintain ISO certification. You already invested a lot of time and effort into that initial hurdle. You’re wondering how much more money you have to put in.
The answer isn’t straight-forward. To know how much time it takes to maintain ISO certification, we would need to know
- What certification you have
- How many people are in your organization
- The competence of your management team; and
- Your knowledge of quality and quality tools
But we don’t have all of that information. For some organizations, to maintain ISO certification is impossible. They got certified to meet customer requirements. They have not held up a standard of continual improvement.
For others, maintaining ISO certification is easy. Their quality management system standards were in line with ISO already.
We don’t want to leave you hanging, though. We can tell you how to maintain ISO certification with some rough estimates for a business of 50 or fewer employees.
How to Maintain ISO certification
Review Non-Conformities: Once a month, your team needs to review your processes and find places for corrective or preventive actions. 12 days.
Management Review: Management needs to review non-conformities each month. This will take about 3 hours each time. 5 days.
New Employee Training: New employees need to be trained. Plan on educating them on QMS standards once a month for about an hour. 2 days.
Continued Education: You need to stay up-to-date on ISO certification. So does your whole quality team. Plan on going to a few trainings a year. 2 days.
Miscellaneous: You cannot know beforehand everything that will need your attention to maintain ISO certification. Expect a few extra meetings and discussions. You need to budget a lot of buffer time. 12 days.
Audits: You need internal audits every year to maintain ISO certification. 3 days.
Review Audit Findings: You are going to find places for corrective action while doing your audits. You need to fix all the problems. 8 days.
External Audit: A registered auditor will need to come and review your systems on-site. 3 days.
That’s roughly 47 days to maintain ISO certification annually.
Is it worth it? Absolutely.