Is Certification Worth It?
“To be or not to be that is the question” although I don’t think Hamlet had certification in mind when he said this. It is a decision to be taken on business grounds. Here are some of the reasons why organisations choose certification:
- By setting a clear goal, certification motivates staff and helps to gain their commitment.
- Certification improves processes and refines activities. There is nothing like certification for focusing one’s attention on this key requirement.
- The certification process provides an organisation with an independent expert review, not only of compliance with the Standard, but also areas of improvement within the business that can give you a competitive edge.
- Certification improves business culture because your staff know that if certification is important to you then it must be important to them.
- Certification demonstrates your commitment to business improvement and efficiency.
- Certification helps to prove due diligence.
- Certification can increase customer confidence & thus generate more sales.
- Certification is a good marketing tool. It widens your market opportunities and tells the big players that you are a serious supplier of goods and services.
- Certification provides international recognition of your achievement.
Now for some metrics
In a recent survey by the AIF of over 4,000 businesses, more than 80% of all respondents reported that certification had added value to their organisation.
- Half of all participants have seen an increase in sales as a direct result of the certification.
- Nearly half of all participants cited internal business improvement as the main driver for seeking certification.
- Over 80% of businesses confirmed that certification had helped them meet national regulatory requirements.
And it’s not just the larger companies that are realising these benefits. Nearly two thirds of the respondents work in SMEs, half of which have less than 50 employees. Click here for a more detailed report on this survey. http://www.iaf.nu/articles/Accredited_certification_delivers_real_added_value/276
Find a Certification Body
Once the decision to become certified is made, you’ll need to find a certification body. Choose carefully. You want your relationship to be a long & fruitful one. Just as you do with everything else base your decision on price, service & quality. In doing so, you’ll gain an insight into:
Service by how long it takes for the certification body to respond to your enquiry and send you a quote.
Price by the quote itself. Read the fine print. Each certification body structures their quote differently. Some things to look out for are – is it a fee for service or a fixed price quote, how do they charge for travel time, how do they charge for non-conformances and follow-up audits, what is the audit frequency? Bear in mind that the cheapest certification body could be more costly in the long run if its auditing is below standard.
Quality by their own internal processes. You’ll gain insight into their level of customer focus and back office processes during the quoting process.
Are you accredited?
Accreditation is not an obligation and if an organisation is not accredited it does not necessarily mean it is not reputable. Nonetheless, accreditation is an important independent confirmation of competence. Accredited certification bodies can be identified by contacting JAS-ANZ.
What is the auditor’s experience?
If the auditor is working for an accredited certification body they will have the right qualifications, but do they have experience in your industry or a similar one.
Will I get an auditor I can rely on?
It’s of great benefit to build a long term relationship with your auditor as with increasing familiarity they can provide you with great service. You don’t want to see a new face at every audit.
By choosing your certification body well you will get a lot more out of your certification efforts than you put into it. Use this form to tell us about your business and we will get you a no obligation free quote.