A Consultant is a person who is an expert in ISO standards and has an extensive experience in implementing the quality management systems and has worked in a variety of industries. A good ISO Consultant always understands how best to approach the implementation of ISO 9001 requirements and the processes that are the part of your company.
How to become an ISO Consultant
Are you thinking to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your organization? So, if you are looking for an ISO Consultant who could help you through the process of ISO certification by top ISO certification bodies in India then your reach ends here. Following are the necessary things that you need to know before getting into the procedure of choosing Consultant.
Most suggested ISO certification by ISO Consultant
There are different types of ISO Standards to opt but few certification are like that which an ISO Consultant suggest the most. Given below are the key certifications:
- ISO 9001:2008 Certification: Quality Management Systems
- ISO 14001:2004 Certification – Environmental Management System
- ISO 22000 Certification – Food Safety Management
- ISO 20121 Certification – Sustainable Events
Qualification of ISO Consultant
In many countries, there is no specific qualification needed for this purpose. No wonder, anyone can become a consultant with no qualifications whatsoever. It can be possible that this sounds strange but it makes sense if you remember that your work will be audited by a certification body. Therefore, if you have enough skills and able to implement the standards properly, no one will care about your certificates.
But at the beginning, you will need to demonstrate your competence to your clients and it is not that easy if you do not have any references. So, you should at least have the given things:
ISO 9001 certificates:— It is mandatory to have a Lead Auditor or lead Implementer certificate and it would be better if you have both. Acquiring those certificates is not an easy task. In case, you do not have any previous knowledge about the standards then you need to take some internal audit or foundation courses.
Project Management certificate:— You should learn how to run delivering projects. So, you must get PMP or some other similar certificate.
Experience:— As per the famous saying, mere theoretical knowledge is not enough, you should get experience through at least one of the following:
- As a certification auditor work: The certification of audits will definitely give you an excellent insight into the do’s and don’ts of ISO 9001 implementation.
- Work for another consultant: Actually, the best way to learn about the implementation methods and how to get new clients.
- Work as a quality manager or quality assurance manager: The real pains of working you will get to know while working in a company and you basically get to know that what are the needs to get the advice of the experts.
- Work as a QMS management representative: A responsible person for the QMS mostly help you to understand the standard and see how its requirements are executed in real life and lots of consultants have this starting point.
Requisite skills for an ISO Consultant
It would be true if we say, a successful consultant will require a special set of skills. Given below are the skills that you must have:
- Knowledge of the standard: You need to have a detailed knowledge of the standards and what is expected and always be updated of any changes that come around.
- A keen eye for detail: You should pick up on things other employees may skip that is why he/she is being hired. To be a consultant, you need an eye for detail to ensure that you bring extra value to any project you are hired to contribute to or manage.
- A good leader: The ISO Consultant have to bridge the gap between top management and the workplace and sell the merits of a project to both. A good leadership skill is a must.
- Good communication skills: The communication skills of ISO Consultant must be accurate, concise and timely. Always remember, lack of communication can lead to unawareness and competence in the workforce. Hence, it is critical to ensure that this gap is closed.
- Good organizational skills: May be it is complex and not be linear. It may also happen, you work on several different strands at once.
- Be a good problem solver: No doubt, you will be perceived as the person who has the solution to the problems in an ISO 9001 project. Therefore, the ability to solve problems and give good advice is a key. If you do not have the answers, you will be expected to find them. Apart from this, always be measured, level and organized with proper research and be prepared as more as possible.
Membership of ISO
Approximately, 80% of world commodity trade is impacted by the ISO membership. When you are only letting others decide how standards are set and under what conditions your country participates in international trade. The membership of ISO comes with rights, good practice, benefits and obligations. All you need to actively take up your benefits and rights, follow good practice and adhere to your obligations, to deliver excellence in the ISO system and to ISO customers globally. Following are the four statutory member rights:
1. Participate in developing ISO standards
2. Publication and sell ISO standards, and use ISO name and logo and the copyright
3. Participate in developing ISO policy
4. Participate in governing ISO
ISO membership fees
One of the main member obligations is to pay your fair share of the costs to maintain the central secretariat and ISO system. You can do this through membership fees decided by the ISO General Assembly. By paying fees gives you get the access to your membership benefits and rights. Therefore, fees would be calculated by using unit value and by allocating a number of units to each member. Please, note that the full units can vary according to economic importance (gross national income, exports, and imports); correspondent and subscriber members pay a fixed number of units:
- Full members: Unit value x n (n = number of units allocated)
- Correspondent members: Unit value x 2
- Subscriber members: Unit value x 0.5
Benefits of ISO Membership
The three advantages of ISO Membership are given below:
- IT tools and services
- ISO Academy
- Support for communication and promotion of standards
IT tools and services
IT Tools and services are very vital for your International standards development work. It is free of cost and backed up with support from a helpdesk that understands your business. Besides, ISO-hosted services to help you to perform your national work. ISOlutions supports members in performing national and regional standardization work, through closely integrated IT solutions.
The ISO Academy offers its support in two key areas:
- Capacity building: As per the ISO action plan for developing countries, the ISO academy offers institutional strengthening, training services and country technical assistance on a range of topics to provide help to your experts and other stakeholders who perform key standardization roles to:
1. Capacity building to meet your standardization responsibilities
2. Gaping in an address in your national standards development processes and governance
3. To tackle global challenges, learn the use of standards.
4. Bring international trade benefits to your country.
Support for communication and promotion of standards
1. ISO members can access tools, materials and services to help
3. Communicate and demonstrate the economic and social benefits of standards
4. Promote and develop education about standardization in universities and other types of schools.