How CertSmart works
If you’ve already designed and implemented your quality management system, the next step is to get certified. This is where CertSmart comes in.
CertSmart uses technology to deliver certification in a way that is both efficient and affordable for smaller businesses and start-ups.
Who is CertSmart for?
CertSmart is ideal for smaller UK businesses and especially start-ups. It can help you to achieve accredited ISO 9001 certification at your own pace – ensuring that your time is spent on tasks that contribute to your end goal.
We minimise disruption and costs by performing Remote Audits where possible. We also provide you with quick and easy methods to retrieve your quote, pay for your service upfront and upload essential documents prior to your audit.
CertSmart in action
From online quote through to certification, the end-to-end CertSmart process features 5 steps which have been designed to minimise disruption through a digital-first approach.
Once you get started, embedded functionality guides you through the whole process – irrespective of whether it’s a remote or onsite audit. You will have access to your unique interactive dashboard where you can upload data, documents and information for review by our auditors as part of the Stage 1 audit.
Understanding your certification cycle
Like all other ISO Standards, your certification will run in three year cycles.
In order to receive a UKAS accredited ISO 9001 certificate, your stage 2 audit must be completed onsite. We support remote and onsite audits with technology solutions which enable our auditors to generate reports instantly.
You may have questions
- What sort of business can use CertSmart?
CertSmart is primarily aimed at smaller, privately owned businesses employing up to 25 employees.
- I have more than one site; is CertSmart still for me?
If you have more than one operating address – or site as we define them – then at the moment, CertSmart would not be suitable for your business (sorry about that).
However, we are continuing to evolve our CertSmart offer, so if you would like to be kept updated as to when new services come online, simply sign up here.
- I have over 25 employees, but some are part-time or on contract; can I still use CertSmart?
That’s a good question! As long as the mix of your full and part-time employees equals no more than 25 full-time employees, then it’s good news as CertSmart would be suitable for you. For example, if you had 10 part-time employees working half a day, and 15 full-time employees, you would have 25 full-time employees in total.
- How long does it take to achieve certification?
At CertSmart, we pride ourselves on delivering ISO 9001 certification that is ‘easy, fast and affordable’ for smaller businesses. The simple answer is that there is no real time limit as it comes down to a number of factors, the main one being your readiness for certification.
By limiting the scope of businesses who would qualify to those with low complexity activities (for example, single product or service businesses), it means we have a bigger pool of auditors to draw upon which can result in completion in a matter of weeks.
If you are still not sure, then don’t worry, as help is at hand. You can work with an LR auditor to identify critical or high-risk areas of your business, alongside specific vulnerabilities. This can either be delivered onsite or remotely and helps determine the scope of your ISO 9001 management system, giving you the flexibility to focus on areas critical to your operations. Just get in touch, and we will discuss what options are available to you.
- How much does it cost?
Making the certification process online-first, means that we can keep costs to a minimum. Why not see for yourself with CertSmart’s online quoting and booking system and find out instantly how affordable certification can be for your business.
- Are all audits remote or just Stage 1?
The amount of remote audits we deliver is regulated by the rules of accreditation. At present, we can do Stage 1 totally remote; what’s more, for your every other annual surveillance audit, we can also do this remotely too. We can also do up to 50% of the Stage 2 audit remotely, but only if the duration exceeds 1 day.
- How do surveillance audits work? Are these done remotely or in person?
Surveillance audits are regulated by the accreditation authorities. At present, we can do your first surveillance audit in Y2 with the following year’s surveillance being onsite. Essentially, for your every other annual surveillance audit, we can do this remotely.
- Do I need any special technology for a remote audit?
Not at all. All you need is access to your desktop, tablet or phone and a standard broadband connection to allow for the transmitting of video. If we need you to show us around your site on a remote audit, you can simply live stream the content to us – or even 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 and you’re all set!
- Do I get a certificate and a logo that I can use across my digital and traditional channels to promote my certification?
Yes you do. Once you achieve certification, you will have access to the CertSmart logo, and your certificate will confirm your ISO 9001 approval. We will send you guidance on when and how you can use this, but rest assured, we want you to promote this to drive your competitiveness as much as you do!
- Who is CertSmart governed by in order to deliver accredited certificates?
Our accredited services are powered by our parent company, Lloyd’s Register. At CertSmart, we use safe and secure technology that transforms the way certification services are delivered to smaller businesses.
Not only that, by choosing CertSmart, your business helps us to help others as the profits we generate fund the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, a charity which supports science and engineering-related research, education and public engagement around everything we do.
- I am a small business operating in a niche market for the automotive sector. Does CertSmart deliver the industry mandated quality certification IATF 16949?
Unfortunately not. Given that the automotive industry is highly regulated – and complex – stringent reporting and audit protocols mean that CertSmart is not appropriate. There are predetermined assessment durations and scheme rules to ensure that quality – and in turn safety – standards are maintained on a global level. The same applies to the aerospace industry.
- 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 which can be accessed here.