Home Resources Blog June 2024

Why you shouldn't leave applying for ISO certification too late

06 June 2024
10-minute read

Of all the tips that we hear on a regular basis from both consultants and auditors there is one that stands out above the rest... Don't leave it to the last minute. Find out why below.

Avoid last-minute stress and panic

Starting the ISO certification process early helps prevent the stress and panic that often accompany last-minute efforts. Rushed preparations can lead to mistakes and overlooked details, potentially jeopardising your certification.

Thorough preparation and implementation

Achieving ISO certification involves a thorough assessment of your organisation's processes and systems.

Starting early allows you ample time to:

  • Conduct a detailed gap analysis

  • Implement necessary improvements

  • Train employees

  • Ensure compliance with all necessary ISO requirements

NQA offer a wide range of tools, resources and guidance to help you on your journey:

↬  Read our helpful blogs

Sign up to our free webinars

Download our implementation guides

Watch our technical videos

Find a selection of relevant legal updates

Sign up to receive free montly industry updates (InTouch)

↬  Book your place on one of our popular training courses

Sufficient time for internal audits and corrections

Internal audits are a crucial part of the certification process. Early preparation ensures you have enough time to:

  • Conduct comprehensive internal audits

  • Identify and address any non-conformities

  • Implement corrective actions

This iterative process improves your chances of passing the external audit on the first attempt.

Mitigate risks and avoid penalties

Delaying ISO certification can expose your organisation to various risks, including:

  • Fines and penalties for non-compliance with industry regulations

  • Operational disruptions due to unaddressed security or quality issues

Early certification helps mitigate these risks by ensuring that your processes meet the required standards well in advance.

Improve operational efficiency and quality

ISO standards promote best practices that enhance operational efficiency and quality. By starting early, you can:

  • Integrate these practices into your daily operations

  • Discover the benefits of improved efficiency and quality sooner

  • Achieve cost savings through streamlined processes and reduced waste

Enhance competitive edge and market opportunities

Early ISO certification can provide a significant competitive edge. It signals to potential clients and partners that your organisation:

  • Meets high standards of quality and security

  • Is committed to continuous improvement and excellence

This can help you win contracts, attract new customers, and enter new markets ahead of your competitors.

Allow for external audit scheduling

Scheduling external audits with accredited certification bodies can be challenging due to availability. By starting the process in plenty of time, it ensures that you can:

  • Secure audit dates that align with your timeline and work for your company

  • Avoid unwanted delays caused by limited availability of auditors
  • Avoid any downtime with your certification

Demonstrate proactive leadership

Achieving ISO certification ahead of deadlines demonstrates proactive leadership and a commitment to excellence. It shows stakeholders, including employees, customers, and investors, that your business is organised, forward-thinking and fully focused and dedicated to maintaining high standards.

Adapt to unexpected changes

Starting  the process of applying for NQA certification early provides a buffer to adapt to unexpected changes or challenges, such as:

  • Changes in ISO standards

  • Organisational restructuring

  • Market or regulatory changes

This flexibility ensures that you can adjust your approach without compromising your certification timeline.

In summary, applying for ISO certification well in advance allows for thorough preparation, reduces risks, and positions your organisation for success.

Don’t wait until the last minute - start the process early to ensure a smooth, stress-free and efficient path to certification and reap the long-term benefits of improved quality and operational excellence.

If you'd like to start your certification journey with us get in touch today and a member of our friendly team can walk you through, step-by-step.