Is CertSmart right for you?
We are the best value UKAS accredited ISO 9001 certification for small business.
Find out more below by checking out our FAQs.
- How can i get started?
The first step on your path to ISO 9001 certification is to define your readiness using our CertSmart checklist. If you’re ready to progress, you can then build a personalised quote via our interactive tool.
Your quote will clearly indicate everything that’s included in the price. Following this, you’ll be able to select an audit timeframe before making your first-year payment. Once this is complete, we’ll confirm your audit date and you’ll receive access to your dashboard where you’ll need to start completing the Stage 1 Audit questionnaire. This will require you to upload key documents and information to your dashboard that will be reviewed prior to your audit. When accessing your dashboard, we recommend using the most up to date version of your web browser.
- How can I check if my business is ready?
Before you can get started with CertSmart, your business must have already designed and implemented a quality management system (QMS) in line with the requirements of ISO 9001. This is because CertSmart is a certification service only.
- Does CertSmart include the design and implementation of a QMS?
No - CertSmart only covers the certification process. If your business doesn’t have a QMS yet, there are a few options for you to consider.
You could hire an independent consultant on either an ad-hoc or retained basis. Normally they charge a day rate. LRQA maintains a network of these consultants, but they operate independently.
Alternatively, you could opt for a Gap Analysis. We can provide this, and it takes the form of a remote review of what you have done against what is required. This would help us produce an action plan for your business to address these gaps. Use our live chat to talk to someone about how we can help.
There are other options that give you much greater ownership of your system. These require a greater investment in terms of time and resources, however.
You could, for example, build your knowledge of the standard and how to best implement it by attending an online virtual classroom training course. LRQA has designed courses ranging in duration specifically for ISO 9001, which you can find here.
You could also buy a copy of the standard in question - in this case, ISO 9001 or its associated best practice guide. These offer support and guidance around system design and implementation and are readily available from many vendors.
- How do you protect my data during the certification process?
At CertSmart, we pride ourselves on ensuring that our customers’ data is protected at all times through a robust security policy that can be accessed here.
- Why is CertSmart more affordable?
By utilising virtual meeting technology and online personal dashboards we are able to provide a convenient, flexible self serve experience that greatly reduces the cost for small business certification. There is no compromise on quality, you will still have access to world renowned experts accredited by UKAS. The savings come from being able to self service an online quote, secure online payment and your personal dashboard to upload information and documents anytime of day, at your convenience. More convenient and more affordable without compromising.
- What does my quote include?
First time achieving ISO 9001 Certification
Your first year payment starts from as little as £1,192.50 (+vat) this covers your Stage 1 and Stage 2 audit.
You’ll then receive an invoice from us annually covering the cost of that year’s surveillance visit.
If we find major nonconformities during your audit, we’ll need to carry out a follow-up. This will be done remotely and charged pro-rata based on the time required.
When you’ve made payment online we will book your audit date.
Businesses with an existing ISO 9001 certification
Your first years payment starts at as little as £795 (+vat) this covers your transfer review and the next audit in your certification cycle. The online quote will help us to understand if you require a transfer visit day. This will be outlined on your final quote.
- Are there any extra costs?
With CertSmart, there are no hidden costs--you pay the quoted amount upfront, and you know exactly what you are paying for.
If we do find major nonconformities during your audit, we’ll need to carry out some form of follow up. This will be done remotely and charged pro-rata based on the time required. We will ask you to upload an ‘evidence pack’ to the CertSmart dashboard showing the corrective and preventive action that has been taken. This will be reviewed by your auditor, and there will usually be a short interview to discuss the action taken and to verify that it has effectively addressed the findings. If a major nonconformity review needs to take place, it will be charged at £175 plus VAT, with payment being made online.
- What is the cost breakdown over three years?
The standard CertSmart service can be broken down into annual fees. Your first year invoice includes the Stage 1 and Stage 2 audits. You’ll then receive an invoice from us annually covering the cost of that year’s surveillance visit.
UKAS Accredited Certification
- Who is CertSmart governed by?
LRQA Quality Assurance Ltd provides our accredited services and our certifications are backed by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). At CertSmart, we use safe and secure technology that transforms the way certification services are delivered to smaller businesses.
- Non-accredited providers have quoted me a lower price – why should I choose Certsmart?
CertSmart is powered by the UKAS accredited certification body LRQA Quality Assurance Ltd, and the certification services we provide are fully UKAS accredited.
UKAS accreditation is internationally recognised, so having a UKAS accredited body perform your audit is essentially the gold standard when it comes to certification. For CertSmart and LRQA to be able to provide accredited certification, we must be able to demonstrate to UKAS that we are working to the highest standards governing independence, impartiality and integrity.
After investing a significant amount of time and effort to design and implement your quality management system, UKAS accredited ISO 9001 certification is the best way of ensuring that your certification is credible and universally accepted.
- How long does certification take?
There are so many different factors at play when it comes to certification that it can be difficult to answer this question without assessing your business and its readiness first.
However, because we only work with small and low complexity businesses, we have a larger pool of auditors to draw from. This means that in some cases, we can complete ISO 9001 certification in a matter of weeks when a business comes to us with an implemented QMS and is ready to go.
- Do I get a certificate and logo that I can use for promotional purposes?
Yes, you do. Once you achieve certification, you have several options.
Not only will you have access to the CertSmart logo, which you can use on websites, documents, vehicles etc., but you will also be able to use the LRQA logo in conjunction with the UKAS accreditation mark (the ‘crown and tick’). This also appears on your certificate.
We will send you guidance on when and how you can use the relevant marks, and we encourage all eligible businesses to do so as they are significant indicators of quality.
Preparing for your audit
- Is my audit date flexible?
We will always try to accommodate your audit at a time that works best for you. However, we understand that things can change, and if you want to change your audit date, you can. This may cost you a rescheduling fee of £50.00.
- What information do I need to provide?
At each stage of the CertSmart journey, your auditor will be looking to confirm that your management system meets the requirements of ISO 9001 and is being effectively implemented in your business.
First time achieving ISO 9001 Certification
Leading up to the Stage 1 audit, you’ll need to upload relevant documents, data, and information to your dashboard. Your auditor will use this information as the basis of the Stage 1 audit to determine whether the management system design meets the requirements of ISO 9001–so it’s a crucial step. We’ve built guidance into your dashboard, which will support you throughout this process.
Transferring ISO 9001
Before you can transfer to CertSmart you will need to provide details of the results of previous visits undertaken (for example, copies of the most recent certificate renewal and surveillance reports and a copy of your current certification/recertification.
- What is a Stage 1 audit?
Your Stage 1 audit is designed to find out if your business is prepared to move on to the next stage of the audit process.
Stage 1 is carried out remotely. You’ll receive access to a personalised dashboard where you can upload any necessary data, documents, and information. Once you have done this, it can be reviewed by your auditor as part of your Stage 1 audit. Your auditor will also speak to you directly about the design of your QMS and its readiness for the Stage 2 audit.
For Stage 1 to be completed, your QMS must at the very least be designed but doesn’t necessarily need to be fully implemented. It must be implemented prior to Stage 2, however.
- What is a Stage 2 audit?
Your Stage 2 audit will evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of your QMS, ensuring that the ISO 9001 certification criteria have been met.
Due to UKAS accreditation requirements, your Stage 2 audit needs to be completed onsite.
Your QMS must be fully implemented for the Stage 2 audit to be completed.
- Do I need any equipment for a remote audit?
No. All you need is access to your desktop, tablet, or phone and a standard broadband connection that can transmit video. If we need to be shown around your site as part of the remote audit, you can simply live stream it to us or upload it later.
We recommend the use of Microsoft Teams for remote audits. Why? Well, it can be used without the need for costly licences and is a stable and secure platform; we simply send you an invite, you click the link.
- Are all audits completed remotely?
Accreditation rules regulate the number of remote audits we deliver. At present, we can do Stage 1 and your first surveillance, in year 2, audit remotely. Due to accreditation requirements, your stage 2 audit must be completed onsite.