16 questions you should ask your ISO 45001 consultants

November 19th, 2018 By Marketing

Choosing the right ISO 45001 consultants for your business can be a difficult and, frankly, arduous process. What you’re aiming for is to choose a professional and experienced consultant who will guide you effortlessly from explaining the process and requirements of ISO 45001 right through to certification. But how to decide?

The key to any reliable decision is information and education. You need to ask the right questions and provide the right information to assess which consultant is the best fit and ascertain why they have the experience to deliver you success. So, we’ve done some of the hard work for you and listed the 16 most useful questions to ask any prospective ISO 45001 consultants.

1. What is your experience in delivering ISO 45001 and/or health and safety standards?

Although ISO 45001 was only published in March 2018, your ISO consultant should be able to demonstrate experience working with BS OHSAS 18001 or a similar occupational health and safety standard. The more experience your ISO consultant has in delivering successful certifications, the safer your investment will be.

2. What do you see as the most important factors in becoming ISO 45001 certified?

As every reputable ISO consultant will know, the most important factors depend on your business processes and what industry you specialise in. Your ISO consultant should begin by instructing you how to conduct an audit and advise you on how to identify which areas need improvement.

3. How many years’ experience does your company have working with ISO certifications?

Usually, with any ISO certification, the more experience a consultant has in delivering certifications, the better. To be on the safe side, you are looking for a consultant with over 10 years experience.

4. How will project progress be tracked and reported?

An established ISO consultant will be transparent on estimated timelines and how progress will be reported. There should be a communication structure that informs you at regular intervals and keeps you abreast of any developments that may impact delivery time.

5. How flexible can you be to our specific business needs?

Flexibility is a key consideration for all businesses because you need to know how this project will impact your time and how much commitment is required. Your ISO consultant should make this clear from the outset and be able to offer a variety of options that best suit your business. However, as your consultant, they will require your cooperation and commitment to ensure project success.

6. Will you be involved in the planning process and timeline of the project?

As your consultant, they should be involved in every step of the process from the preliminary planning phase right through to recommending how you can maximise value from ISO 45001. Your consultant should be able to give you examples of where they have been involved in each of the following stages:

  • Advise and planning
  • Project management
  • ISO 45001 implementation
  • Ongoing support and recommendations

7. What happens once we are ISO 45001 certified?

Certification should not be the end of your ISO consultancy. Your consultant should then be able to recommend how best to utilise your certification and advise you on how to maintain your new and improved management system.

8. Do I have the freedom to choose my own certification body?

There are some independent ISO consultants who are tied to a specific certification body. You should always have the freedom to explore each certification body and choose which one is the best fit for your business.

9. How flexible is your payment plan?

When planning budgets it’s good to know what is expected from the ISO consultancy. No-one likes to receive an invoice for an amount you were not prepared for. Once payment expectations have been set, you can focus on the task of implementing ISO 45001.

10. At what stage will you be involved in the process?

To have the best chance of becoming certified, your ISO 45001 consultant should be involved right from the outset. This way, they will be able to assist your business in the most efficient way.

11. Do you have experience of working with businesses of my size and in my sector?

Inevitably, every business is different, but, by choosing an ISO 45001 consultant who can demonstrate experience of working within your sector and with companies of your size, you will minimise the risk that the project will experience delays.

12. Do you have any case studies or testimonials I can read?

Every reputable ISO consultant should be able to send you some relevant case studies of successful occupational health and safety standard projects so you can better picture project timelines and delivery.

13. How will you support ISO 45001 certification?

To make an informed decision, it is essential to assess what the steps are for becoming certified and how involved your ISO consultant will be in the process.

14. Who needs to be involved with the planning of ISO 45001?

As well as the process, you need to understand the time and personnel implications of the project. As for ISO 45001, the senior manager will need to devote some time to the project because changes may need to be embedded within the working culture of the organisation. This may need to have sign-off at a higher level, especially with changing the logistical operations of the business.

15. How does ISO 45001 add value?

Your ISO consultant should be aware of how ISO 45001 can impact your business specifically, Whether that is creating a safer workplace, improving your processes or lowering insurance premiums.

Want to read a full list of ISO 45001 benefits?

16. Will the work done and management system documentation meet the requirements of a UKAS accredited certification body?

It is important to know at the start if your systems require UKAS accreditation. If they do, then you need to ensure your ISO consultancy can meet that standard. Some ISO consultancies mark their own homework and provide template manuals that would not meet UKAS requirements.

That’s it! You’re ready to speak to an ISO 45001 consultant and make the most informed decision.

Need to learn a little more about ISO 45001? Download our free guide below.


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