The world of certification can seem complicated, we've answered some commonly asked questions here to help you along your journey.
When Is My Audit Due?
Hopefully you should have this scheduled in your calendar, but just in case or if the details have changed you can contact our scheduling team directly and we will be happy to help.
What Will The Quote Cover – 3 Year Cycle?
The quotation will provide the audit durations and costs for the 3 Year Certification Cycle - from the initial certification audit which consists of two mandatory visits (Stage one and Stage two assessments), through to the following two annual surveillance audits and the three yearly recertification audit which finishes off the 3 year certification cycle and commences the next one.
How Long Are You Contracted In?
NQA do not believe in tying you in to a contract. Although we quote for the 3 year certification cycle you can cancel your certification at any stage, although we would prefer it if you didn’t!
Why Do The Quote Request Forms Require So Much Information?
Quotations are based not only the size of your organization, in terms of number of employees and sites, but also the scope of activities carried out by your organisation and the subsequent risk factors according to the standard you require certification for, e.g environment, or health and safety risks of the activity carried out. Our quote forms are designed to give us as much information as possible to ensure our quote is as accurate as possible. We can complete the quote forms with you over the phone if you don’t want to complete them and send a copy to you for your records.
Cost Of Certification - When Do I Need To Pay? And What?
The quotation sets out clearly the costs involved at every stage. Upon application you will pay the Stage one assessment fee. NQA will then invoice the subsequent stage two assessment fee, this should be paid within 30 days of the invoice date, and in advance of the visit. Annual surveillance fees (which includes the surveillance audit) are then invoiced on an annual basis in April to cover all of your assessments for that year.
How Long Will It Be Before I Get A Quotation?
Upon receipt of the completed quote request form, NQA will provide you with a quotation within 1 working day.
What Are You Average Timescales For Visits?
The lead time for the initial stage one assessment is approx. 6-8 weeks from date of application. However this will vary according to the standards you require for certification.
Will You Help Us With Certification?
It is important that you fully understand the management system you are implementing and whilst NQA cannot provide consultancy, we can provide you with details of consultants in the area you are interested in for you to choose from. NQA also offer a Gap Analysis service to highlight the gaps between your current management system and the requirements of the ISO Standard. This will help you understand the work required and therefore timescales for implementation of your chosen management system. Finally during your Assessments our Auditor will work with you to identify any opportunities for improvement based on his or her knowledge of your industry and practices of similar organizations to yours.
Do You Provide Consultancy?
As a UKAS/ANAB Accredited Certification Body we have to remain impartial to your company prior to an Assessment to ensure you get the best value from your audit and avoid any conflict of interests. We do however understand that you may sometimes need that extra hand to ensure you are prepared in time and ready for your Assessment. NQA have therefore formed closed partnerships with a range of experienced consultants to help you with this part of the process. Our Associate Consultant Register can be found here.
What Are The Next Steps?
Once you have fully completed the quote request form, we will issue a formal quotation. If you are happy to proceed simply sign and return to your Business Development Advisor. Whilst we are processing your application you will receive an invoice for your stage one assessment which will need paying prior to the visit occurring. We will contact you to arrange a suitable date for your stage one assessment once we have processed your application. The stage 1 and stage 2 assessment process is explained in more detail here. Following successful completion of the Stage 2 assessment, certification is then issued and maintained through a programme of annual surveillance audits and a three yearly recertification audit.
How Easy Is It To Transfer Certification?
Transferring accredited certification is easy. We'll need a copy of your current valid certificate of registration, your last 3 years’ audit reports and a completed quote request form to start the process and provide you with a quotation. We then simply carry out a desktop review of your management system, and transfer your certification over! On successful completion of the transfer we issue an NQA certificate of registration with the same validity as your previous certificate and ensure a surveillance audit/recertification is carried out in-line with your current visit schedule.