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Do I need a consultant if we’re just starting a QMS?

When putting a quality management system in place for the first time, you need guidance through the concepts, terms and requirements. How you achieve that depends on the size and previous experience within your company – books, classes, or consultant are all viable options. A consultant can provide valuable training and guidance for those charged with maintenance of your system. However, it is a mistake to assume that a consultant will “do it all for us”. It is, after all, your company’s system – not the consultant’s – and at the end of the day you are responsible for its maintenance. As an alternative to hiring a consultant, make training the start of your implementation and learn together as a management team -- that way everyone is on the same page when making strategic decisions later. After all, ISO requires top management to provide evidence of their commitment by being involved in key strategic activities to direct your QMS, and requires that all employees are aware of, and understand their contribution to the management system.

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