QMS Certification Blog

The ISO Certification Process

Here at QMS, we are often approached by companies that inquire about ISO certification but are not sure about the certification process itself. We have come up with a short but concise list of steps involved in the certification process that take place once you decide to achieve ISO certification.

The ISO certification process begins with your company implementing a management system that is aligned to the ISO standard, whether it be oriented towards quality, environmental, occupational health and safety, anti-bribery, etc. After the implementation phase, your company would most likely seek ISO certification through a certification body just like us.

How to choose an ISO Registrar?

Request for Proposal

To begin the ISO certification process, QMS will issue a quote which is based on the number of audit days required for your company. This is calculated through international standards for audit calculation. It is important to check all proposals issued by registrars as some may contain hidden fees. In QMS, we leave this process totally transparent and without surprises. Get a quote here.

Contract Signing

Once your company approves the proposal, you agree to a 3-year certification contract which is to be signed by the registrar and the client.


Pre-Assessment Audit

A company has the option of conducting a pre-assessment audit which is performed before a certification audit takes place. This pre-assessment audit determines the degree of conformance of an organization’s management system(s) with the requirements of a standard. No formal report is generated at this stage.


Initial Stage 1 Audit

The objective of a Stage 1 Audit is to determine an organization’s readiness for their Stage 2 Certification Audit. This assessment reviews your current management system arrangements and verifies how close you are to meeting your chosen standard’s requirements. Here, the auditor will obtain information about the organization’s processes, documents, operations, and scope of management systems in place including its control.


Initial Stage 2 Audit

The objective of a Stage 2 Audit is to recommend the company for certification. The auditor conducts a thorough assessment of the company’s implementation of the management system and seeks evidence that the organization is following the documentation (policies, procedures, etc.). A comprehensive report is provided, detailing all areas of conformity or non-conformity. If no major non-conformances are issued, the auditor will recommend your organization for certification.


Surveillance Audits

For the following 2 years, surveillance audits are required to verify the ongoing implementation and maintenance of your management system and ensure ongoing compliance with the standard(s). The frequency of surveillance audit depends on many factors (such as size and scope of the organization, number of certified location, etc.), but typically will be performed annually.



The ISO certification process begins once more after your certificate expires after 3 years. This process is similar to the initial stage 2 audit and is analyzed in accordance with all the requirements of the Standard. A comprehensive report is provided, detailing all areas of conformance or non-conformance. If no major non-conformances are issued, the assessor will recommend continuation of certification.


To receive a no-obligation quote for ISO certification, please write to contact@qms-certification.com.

QMS Certification

QMS Certification

QMS is an accredited third party certification body, it is currently present in 33 countries and focuses on the certification of management systems. QMS America is managed by the US office and has consistently grown in market recognition by technical level, customer satisfaction and competitive pricing.

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