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Selecting an ISO 9001 Registrar

Considering that the registrar you choose will not only decide whether you have satisfied the standard’s requirements, but potentially also the maintenance of your certification. This article explores some of the most important evaluation factors that will hopefully lead to a long-term, successful relationship with an ISO 9001 certification body (Registrarincluding:

  • Cost
  • Timing
  • Experience
  • Accreditation
  • Attitude

The many aspects of a registrar’s cost

ISO certification can be costly. Your organization’s size, number of facilities and location all contribute to the cost of certification. Larger organizations will require additional audit time, which will increase the cost of certification. Travel expenses are also factored into certification costs. Selecting a registrar nearest to your organization or one with a local auditor will most likely lower your certification costs. Obtaining quotations from several registrars to determine which are most economical for your organization is a key cost-reducing first step.

Considering an auditing organization’s capacity at audit time

Organizations with ISO 9001:2018 certifications have until September 2018 to transition to 9001:2015. After this, their 2008 certification will become void. With many organizations needing to make the 2015 transition there are already capacity constraints for registrars. To ensure your organization transitions before this deadline, you will want to verify your selected registrar can accommodate your timeframe.

Quality management and industry experience needed

When selecting a registrar, you will also want to consider the knowledge and experience level of the auditor they assign to your organization. Auditors lacking in knowledge or experience of your industry or the ISO 9001 (and related) standard(s) to which you are seeking certification may be at a disadvantage – and could have a negative impact on your audit results.

Registrar accreditation brings credibility to your certification status

It is surprising how many organizations are ISO “certified” by a non-accredited registrar and none the wiser. In the United States, ANAB is the internationally recognized accreditation body for registrars.  Some of your customers may even require your registrar to be accredited in order for them to recognize your certification. Accreditation also means there is another governing body that is ensuring the registrar is acting ethically and in accordance with ISO/IEC 7021Conformity assessment – Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems. Therefore, the number one factor that should be considered when selecting a registrar is ensuring they are accredited.

Don’t forget relationship chemistry and a good attitude

Though cost, accreditation, experience and timing are all important factors when selecting a registrar, you may also want to consider how well they will work with you. In the event that there is an issue or you need to contest/appeal an inaccurately documented nonconformance or audit report, it is beneficial to work with a professional and open-minded registrar. Additionally, while there is a difference between using a quality management consultant and a registrar, getting useful feedback on your quality management system (QMS) is an integral part of the auditing process.  (Please note that the 9000store’s training and implementation products are structured to minimize any need for quality management consultants.) Interview registrars prior to selection to see if they will be a good fit for your organization. You can also evaluate registrars using our Registrar Checklist.

See these other key pages for more information on working with registrars.

ISO 9001 Registrars
Cost of ISO 9001 Registrations
Prepare for the Registration Audit
The Path To Becoming ISO 9001 Registered
ISO Registration or Certification Process
Registrar Questionnaire 
Free ISO Registrar Quotes
All About ISO 9001 Registrars
Who is Eligible to Grant ISO 9001 Certification?
Calculating Audit Time


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