ISO Certification Pitfalls eBook

ISO Certification: 7 Costly Pitfalls to Avoid

#3 Trusting Templates

An expert consultant can do much of the work required for successful certification in a fraction of the time it would take you. However, you and your senior managers will still have to make time for regular meetings with the consultant in order to make approve critical decisions about the business system structure and content.


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Why not just buy an online template for ISO Certification? While this sounds like a simple solution, and it’s certainly the cheapest option in the short term, the problem is that templates don’t take into account the idiosyncrasies of each business, leaving gaps where you could encounter non-compliance, which could set back the certification process by months. Consider:

  • These templates are designed to cover several industries, so they may include far more paperwork then you would need to complete if you had a system customised to your business.
  • Templates tend to focus purely on meeting ISO standards, (usually clause by clause – the worst possible design!) not what is necessarily going to help your business grow and be more productive.
  • Templates can provide you with a decent “starting point” for your ISO Certification, AS LONG AS you customise them from there.

If you have decided to start with a template, look for an Australian-developed template – NOT based on clauses of the standard, and which is easily customisable.

Templates may speed up certification initially, but in the long run you are better served by creating customised processes based on what you are already doing.

The Lesson

A purely customised system will cost you more time (and more money if you hire a consultant) in the short term. However it will save you time and money in the long term because your system will be talored specifically to your needs, making it much more efficient and integral to your business, rather than a “compliance only” system which can become a constant drain on your financial and human resources to maintain.