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How much does setting up and maintaining an ISO management system cost?

Many businesses are looking to implement one or more ISO standards within their organization, but of course, implementing any Management System comes at a cost. This can be a barrier to entry, but this article should hopefully give you a good idea of what is involved.

Preparing a budget

Correct budgeting is essential for successfully implementing the requirements of any ISO Standard. It is not just the costs of the certification bodies but also the cost of allocation of resources and time at various stages of the process.

To do this, let us look at the two main components of implementation:

1. Initial Costs

Budgeting the initial cost helps identify effective ways of optimising the costs at the same time as identifying related risks and opportunities.

Potential costs:

  • Consultant – You might not have the knowledge, time, or resources available to perform the necessary work, but using a consultant like ourselves can be a cost-effective way to reduce this load.

  • Training – If you plan to undertake the project internally, then you will need to ensure the Project Leaders are appropriately trained.

  • Copy of the standard – You will need to purchase a copy of the standard you are implementing.

  • Role reassignment – Implementing and maintaining a management system often benefits from a Project Lead or Manager that might come from a promotion or reassigned role that necessitates a pay increase, or the costs of a temporary employee to cover the appointed persons day-to-day activities.

2. Ongoing Costs

Once in place, your ISO management system should continually improve your business and therefore will have some costs attributed to ongoing maintenance.

Potential costs:

  • External Audits – In order to be certified to the required standard, you will need to be audited by an accredited certification body. They will perform audits on your management system to maintain certification at least once per year.

  • Internal Audits – Internal audits are a mandatory part of any ISO standard and will need to be conducted by appropriately trained auditors.

  • Consultant – As trained internal auditors and ISO experts, consultants like ourselves can lend support on an ongoing basis to keep the management system running, be it admin, audits, training and much more at a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee.

  • Training – As standards change, employees progress or leave and the business grows; training is important to keep everyone up to speed.

As you can see, the costs are split across various stages of the process, and there are several options to find the most cost-effective way for your business to gain and maintain certification to your chosen ISO standard.

We cannot run through the exact numbers here as it can be so variable across source, time, and scope etc., but hopefully this information will help you think about budgeting for the cost involved in the implementation and maintenance of the requirements of ISO standards.

What we CAN do is help you source such costs, and present our own, to help you fully prepare no matter what standard you are aiming to implement.

Keep an eye on the blog as we will be posting an article about some cost saving methods available for ISO implementation soon.

To find out more about obtaining ISO Certification, and to get help finding the right way for your budget, contact us via and talk to our expert ISO Consultants right away!


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