I need to get ISO certified - How do I pick a certifying body or registrar?

While ISO uses the term “certifying body” (because they certify the management systems of companies), many organizations in the USA use the term “registrar” (because they maintain a register of certified companies).  Same concept, just different words.

Choosing a relationship with a certifying body is an important decision. 

First - Always look for an accredited organization – this means that, like you, they are audited and monitored, and meet the stringent requirements of both the ISO requirements  for certifying, and the requirement of their accrediting body.  This ensures that you are being certified by an organization worth trusting.

Second – Find an organization with experience in your industry, with companies of your size, and preferably with auditors in your area so that you don’t pay travel and per diem expenses in addition to audit fees.  That information should be available upon request .

Third - Interview them. Learn about their philosophy, and processes.  This should be a long-term relationship – you’re trusting them with confidential information about your company’s strengths and weaknesses. While they must remain impartial and objective as auditors, they should care about providing value to the company as part of their services.

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