The 7 Myths of Quality Management & ISO Certification: No. 1“It will cost a fortune”

For Contractors, there are no reasons at all why your ISO Certification should be costly.

I do hear horror stories about high priced consultants charging an extortionate day rate, hanging around for what seems like forever, and making the business jump through hoops and taking up everyone’s time in doing so. It does not take too much imagination to see how costs can rack up significantly in that scenario.

When I set up Foy Certification I intended to offer an antidote to such a situation. As an ex-contractor who abhorred fixers working on “Daywork” I offer a fixed price to guide contractors to ISO Certification and I also guarantee success. That has sometimes backfired on me when some customers have taken much longer — for myriad reasons — than I anticipated but I still think it is the right thing to do. My customers have cost-certainty and that is important. Moreover, nearly all my customers secure Certification within a matter of weeks and even then that is not weeks of continuous activity but focused bite-size chunks that ensure rapid progress. The key is to fit ISO to your business not expect your business to fit to ISO and with that approach, time and effort – and therefore costs – are kept to a minimum as a lean and practical management system is developed. The whole process is about defining your best practice and our guaranteed success methodology means that we can do so quickly and efficiently.

There is also a wider issue; when some people say “ISO is expensive” then of course the question is “Expensive when compared to what?” I help my customers to get there — with a guarantee remember — for the cost of a couple of fancy laptops. What are the costs of inefficiencies in your business? Do you know the true costs of occasional poor quality? I know from bitter personal experience that these can be enormous and it is a proven fact that for every pound you spend on error prevention you will spend one-hundred times that amount on rectifying errors that reach your customers. The costs of securing ISO certification represent tremendous value when you consider the potential benefits — including proven return to the bottom line. Nobody can ever put a financial figure on the benefits of ISO but I think you would agree that enshrining practices that assure your customers, improve your business and manage your risks is potentially massive. And is that not worth a modest investment in an ISO process?

You can of course do it yourself, without my or anybody else’s help, but then the question becomes the cost of your time against the cost of using a consultant to help you. If you are starting from scratch then you will inevitably need time to not only read the Standards but also assimilate them in order to effectively apply them to your business. All that needs to be weighed up against the certain cost of using a consultant, if of course they offer a fixed price with a guarantee. And remember, the sooner you set up your management system and use it, the more cost savings you will enjoy. The ROI will be very quick. The value to the business of continual improvement is potentially enormous so does that sound expensive now?

So when you think about ISO Certification, remember:
ISO will not cost a fortune
• It is not bureaucratic
• It is not inflexible
• It is for all businesses, large and small
• It is not all about the paperwork
• You will not need loads of training
• You will not need extra staff
• You don’t need to write ‘everything’ down
• You don’t need someone who loves paperwork
• Anyone can compile a Quality Manual
• It will reduce, not increase, stress
• You don’t need to ‘spare’ anyone
• It is not a long drawn-out process
• You don’t need jargon!


I also discuss how quality management principles and indeed ISO Certification can help you turn the pain of completing PQQ’s into opportunity and profit. It’s a free download, please secure your copy at and tell me what you think at

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