ISO Certification Pitfalls eBook

ISO Certification: 7 Costly Pitfalls to Avoid

#4 Unrealistic Expectations

Applying for ISO Certification has become far more streamlined in recent years; however, it is important not to underestimate the time and work involved in achieving certification. Make sure you have realistic expectations about the process before you begin.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

You are essentially developing procedures and practices for your company from scratch, which will hopefully serve you well for decades to come. And while it may seem easy to slap together some policies and procedures, in reality you have to consistently be able to show auditors that your system works for you and is implemented throughout your organisation.

Without outside help, you will need to plan to meet with senior management to discuss ISO implementation for at least a half day each week for a minimum of 6 months, up to 12 months. There is also a major learning component in understanding the ISO standards, which can take time to master, and often people feel uncertain whether they are on the right track.

Meeting with an ICS Consultant to discuss your requirements can help you put together a realistic timeline, as well as uncover ways to speed up the process.

It can be good practice to at least check in with a consultant at the beginning, middle, and end of the project to make sure you are on track. At ICS, we are often called in by companies who have unsuccessfully tried for over 12 months to put in a system themselves and subsequently failed the audit. Just a short time with a consultant would have saved them this unnecessary expense and disappointment.

The ISO Certification process requires a significant commitment of time, resources, and capital. Before you jump in, it’s a good idea to ensure that you fully understand what will be required.