Do you want to buy ISO standards at a fraction of the cost? Well, the few minutes spent reading this post is going to save you hundreds of pounds, literally.
When starting out on your certification journey you will probably budget for the cost of the ISO 9001:2015 standard and assume you have no choice but to “take the hit” financially. Then you realise that the language and terminology used in ISO 9001 aren’t very user-friendly. Enter ISO 9000 the helpful standard that actually gives you the definitions of the terminology used in ISO 9001, but ISO 9000 is even more expensive then ISO 9001. You could stop there, but then you realise if you want guidance on how to continuously improve your ISO 9000 quality management system you need ISO 9004 and if you want guidance on auditing your quality management system you need ISO 19011.
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you ISO standards aren’t cheap, but you do have the option of buying them very cheaply in English.
OK, enough waffle I have kept you waiting long enough. Basically, you can buy your ISO standards from the Estonian Centre for Standardization (EVS). These are the same standards that you would buy from ISO or BSI, the only difference is that the content is either in both Estonian and English or just English. If you have no problem looking at a page that has Estonian text on the left and English text on the right then you can save a lot of money. An added bonus is picking up some Estonian along the way.
You can buy PDF’s or physical copies which can be sent to the UK for an extra charge (currently 12 EUR). They also provide very reasonable multi license options.
Link to EVS https://www.evs.ee/shop
Standard EVS BSI
ISO ISO 9000:2015 21.91 EUR
£ 98 £ 196 178 CHF
ISO 9001:2015 15.40 EUR
£ 59 £ 118 138 CHF
ISO 9004:2018 19.05 EUR
£ 132 £ 264 178 CHF
ISO 19011:2018 18.00 EUR
£ 99 £ 198 158 CHF
Total (excl del) ≈ £64.11 £ 388 £ 776 ≈ £500.39
All prices correct as of 07/04/2019 and currencies converted using https://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/ all links are non-affiliate (as always).
We at KM Quality Engineering have purchased copies of these standards via BSI and EVS and there is no difference in the English text. The only difference is in physical appearance. The BSI copy is A5 in size, spiral bound and the pages are laminated, the EVS copy is A4 in size, stapled and non-laminated. Yes, the BSI copies do look “nice”, but it’s the content that really matters!
EVS has a wide range of standards available in English, not just ISO 9001. Another great EVS service is the ability to “rent” standards. If you’re not sure whether an ISO standard is relevant to your organisation you can pay a few euros to rent it for 24 hours. That should give you enough time to decide whether you want to purchase or not.
Quick links to cheaper Standards on EVS
ISO 9000:2015 https://www.evs.ee/products/evs-en-iso-9000-2015
ISO 9001:2015 https://www.evs.ee/products/evs-en-iso-9001-2015-en
ISO 9004:2018 https://www.evs.ee/products/evs-en-iso-9004-2018
ISO 19011:2018 https://www.evs.ee/products/evs-en-iso-19011-2018
Long story short, if you don’t have money to throw away, buy your standards from EVS.
Can you afford to implement a quality management system?
Whichever approach you take cookie cutter/step by step support can you afford to pay it?
Remember to factor in certification costs (if applicable) as these will be charged separately by the registrar.
Also, remember you set the time scale for implementing your system, so consider if you could afford to spread the cost over 3, 6, 9, 12 months.
Can you afford not to implement a quality management system?
How you calculate this depends on how much performance data you have available and a couple of questions you can ask yourself are below.
If you provide goods, how much did you spend on refunds/warranty claims in the last 12-month period?
If you provide services, how much did you lose on contracts terminated before completion because of customer dissatisfaction?
How much are you potentially losing by not being able to bid on contracts you know you can deliver because they require ISO 9001:2015 certification?
Ask yourself and consider the following
BSI’s own research shows that 62% of our customers achieve cost savings as a result of being certified to ISO 9001
If you choose ISO 9001:2015, certification is typically valid for three years as long as all scheduled surveillance audits during those three years are passed without major issues.
Implementing the quality management system is usually a one-off cost, but you should factor in the resource costs to maintain and continually improve your system.
Our meeting concluded with my friend deciding there was a lot to think about and indeed my friend, there is.
It’s “ok” to decide not to implement a formal quality management system as long as you have assessed all the risks and opportunities that result. However, I would strongly advise you to regularly review that decision.
Quality Management is my business so it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out which side of the fence I’m on. Before I started my business, I worked as an Engineer within the Automotive industry both at OEM and supplier level. I have experienced the good, the bad, the bad masquerading as the good and the downright terrible. Interesting to note though, my morale didn’t always correlate directly with the effectiveness of the systems and processes in place, but I’ve digressed enough so I will save that for another post.
Now, I am genuinely passionate about quality and my gut reaction is to always advocate for the implementation and maintenance of a quality management system that meets the requirements of ISO 9001. Even if you choose to not get certified, there are still quantifiable benefits to having the system.
Now, if you lack in-house expertise, your only other option is to pay an outside company (like mine) to do it for you. Costs can vary wildly, as can the level of support on offer. Maybe a cheaper template cookie-cutter approach will work for you or maybe you need expertise and support every step of the way.
As we discussed the benefits and costs of implementing a quality management system, I realised it really boils down to just 2 questions, which will be discussed in more detail in part 2.