ISO has many standards out of which only some are used for certification purpose. The cost of ISO certification as a whole cannot be ascertained and published as standard numbers of figures. This is due to the reason that there are many variables and possibilities. Each project of ISO certification generally involves high skills, competence and a higher degree of tailoring or customization. Logically, it should be almost impossible or extremely rare that two organizations or businesses have implemented exactly the same system unless it is done purposefully. Especially in an Indian scenario, every entity is unique and the cost of implementing such a system, and certification of the same largely depends on the following:

A) The type of business: ISO certification in very highly regulated or crucial businesses (e.g. Nuclear Plants, Banks etc) generally cost higher as it requires higher qualifications and competent professionals to design a suitable system and

implement the same. These professional credentials cost money. Ascent maintains an extensive pool of professionals that includes a pool of Technical Experts with varied competencies and at a very reasonable fee structure.

B) Size of the organization: Organizations or businesses with very high manpower, would generally take number of training days, more control documentation and more quantity of days for implementation and auditing too. In this scenario, these are the incremental factors to cost. Ascent employs very unique and motivational “Train-the-trainer” concepts which helps client organizations to utilize internal resources for training and reduces the ISO certification project cost.

C) No. of business locations: If the head office is located in Delhi, and the factory or workshop is in Mumbai, generally the travelling of professionals and their accommodation may add to the cost factor, for ISO certification. The wide and distributed geographical presence of our professions, all over India plays a vital role in the reduction of such expenses.

D) Existing policies: Situations where policies are based on particular ISO standards, it might provide ease in planning and implementing thus requiring lesser efforts and lesser money as compared to the organizations that either do not have policies set, or have their policies that contradictory to the requirements specified within the ISO standard under consideration.

E) A number of ISO standards on which the certifications are sought: If more than one ISO standards are being implemented or being used for certification, logically this will increase the efforts, and thus the cost. However, Ascent provides unique solutions to how these standards can be integrated while designing and implementing so that the cost of the whole program can be reduced to the minimum.

F) Choice of the Certification Body: There are various Certification bodies operating in India, which have different set-ups, sizes, accreditation, different policies, different profit aspirations & needs, and maintaining different degrees of ethical practices. Naturally, they have varied fee structures which could be high, moderate or low. Ascent helps organizations choose the most appropriate certification body that largely suits to their current or potential requirements, keeping the expenses reasonable against the dame. Ascent maintains a very large band of certification bodies of various stature and is highly aware of all fees structures, changes and the integrity of the Certification Body and certificate issued by them.

G) Degree of competence of existing employees: A highly competent set of people would help reducing efforts and unnecessary repeats, thus reducing the overall cost.

H) Competence of the Consultancy organization or the Consultant: A highly competence Consultant would effectively work out more accurate and realistic expense figure, rather than an inexperienced one who may quote figures that might be unreasonably high or disbelievingly low. Both situations have a higher likelihood of failure of the project in further stages. Both might result in a dead end as a result of the Consultant’s lack of know-how. Ascent has a 100% success rate of implementing the projects as per initial plans and takes the support of Technical Experts before any offer is submitted. The Ascent quoted values are realistic and assured through years of experience.

I) Type of ISO certification sought: It largely depends on the type of ISO standard that the Certification of the management system is sought. There are many management system standards like ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001, ISO 13485, ISO 22316, ISO 22000, ISO 27001, ISO 50001, ISO 55001, ISO 17025, ISO 17020, ISO 17021 and many others which are either based on different management systems, or a quality management system for a particular industrial vertical. All these standards carry the minimum requirements which need varied efforts to implement. For example, ISO 13485 has more requirements than ISP 9001. Normally the ISO 13485 certification should cost higher than ISO 9001. Ascent has qualified Lead Auditors and experts in all these international standards.

India has been a land of opportunity for professionals especially the beginners. This has given the opportunity to thousands of ISO Consultants to practice their expertise and earn their bread. Such ISO Consultants exist as individuals, groups or organizations. It is highly advisable that the credentials of the Consultants and Certification Body, their integrity and the competence of the professionals providing the services, is effectively judged before a Consultant is finalized for advisory services.

Ascent shall provide references on demand, of already satisfied and renowned customers who can share their experiences. The competence of the professionals is also thoroughly screened during recruitment, which can be tested and reasonably tried before finalizing any ISO certification contract. A cost of accessing advisory services for ISO certification is based on the total number of mandays spent by the professional on-site. The fees range per manday, for reasonably good and experienced Consultants, though is extremely dependent, generally starts from Rs. 4,000. A small organization performing non-critical manufacturing activity, with a presence in the proximity of the Consultant, employees lesser than 10 would normally experience an expenditure somewhere between Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 75,000 plus taxes. However, the exact figures can only be a result of an analysis of the business environment.

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