Selecting a Registrar
When you choose a Registrar you are starting a relationship that will
last at least 3 years, most likely longer. You will want to make a careful
decision to lay the groundwork for a smooth and lasting relationship.
Generally, when you sign a contract with a Registrar,
it will include the Registration Audit, and Surveillance Audits. The Registration
Audit is the initial audit that will be done to see if you will achieve
registration. After you have your registration, the Registrar will come
back every 6 months or year to see if you are maintaining your system
and continuing to meet the requirements of ISO 9001. Registrars vary in
their approach, so you will want to find out details from each Registrar
you are interested in.
Your certificate will be valid for 3 years. After that period your registrar
will be required to do another Registration Audit to renew your certification.
The contract you set up with your Registrar will be for the three year
period. You would renew your contract after three years to start the cycle
Registration Audit: An audit of your QMS system to
see if you meet the requirements of ISO 9001 and will achieve registration.
Surveillance Audit: A follow up audit of a portion
of your QMS to see if the QMS is being followed and maintained. These
are done every 6 months or year.
The costs for the audits and registration will
be dependant on the size of your company, the number of locations, the
accreditations that you need, and the distance between you and your Registrar.
The costs are typically dependant on the number of audit days required
for the registration audit and the surveillance audits, the travel costs
for the auditors, and the administration fees and accreditation fees for
Choosing a Registrar
The most important factor in choosing a Registrar
is how well they can work with you. This includes how well they know your
industry, how much experience they have with similar companies, and how
well they communicate with you and your employees.
Interview 3 or more Registrars to get a good idea of the options available
and differences between Registrars. Look locally if you have good choices,
it will save on costs, but if you do not find a good fit look farther.
The benefits of your relationship with your Registrar will pay off. Remember
that these are experienced professionals that spend day after day evaluating
how companies do business. The feedback you get from them is one of the
best benchmarking tools available.