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ISO 9000 (ISO 9001)

ISO 9001 Basics
ISO 9001 Documentation
ISO 9001 Training
ISO 9001 Gap Analysis
ISO 9001 Internal Audits
ISO 9001 Registration
9001 Resource Center
Additional ISO Resources

How long does it take

How Long Does ISO 9001 Registration Take?

Preparing for registration involves building your Quality Management System, documenting that system, and implementing it throughout your organization. The time that it takes a company to complete these tasks depends on several factors:

Do you have a Quality Management System or parts of a system in place?

How much time can personnel devote to working on the Quality Management System development each week?

What tools or assistance will you use?

As you plan your project you will need to think about those questions. You can measure your current Quality Management System against the ISO 9001 System by performing a Gap Analysis.

A Gap Analysis is an audit you perform to see what parts of the ISO 9001 Standard you already are complying with. It is useful information for planning a timeline for your project.

You will also want to determine how much time will be spent on the project by internal people. Will they be able to spend 5 hours a week on the project? One hour a week? Answer this question so you know what internal resources are available.

We have prepared several time tables for you to use as an example or as a plan for your project. Feel free to download and use these MS Word documents:

Completion in 4 months

Completion in 7 months

Completion in 10 months

Look for tools or assistance to help make your project efficient and effective. A professionally designed and documented ISO 9001 Quality Management System will save you a tremendous amount of time spent designing your system by trial and error and documenting the system.

By using a professional system you will have a system of procedures that are designed to give you running head start at a well designed, time tested Quality Management System. Our system has been used in thousands of companies from a variety of industries, all over the globe.

ISO 9001 Registration

Selecting a ISO 9001 Registrar

When you choose a ISO 9001 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.

The following is a list of qualified ISO 9001 Registrars that will help you obtain your ISO 9001 Registration:


ISO 9001 RegistrarPhoneWebsiteCountry
ABS Quality Evaluations Inc.281-877-6800http://www.abs-qe.comUnited States
AIB Registration Services800-633-5137http://www.aibonline.orgUnited States
AQA International803-779-8150http://www.aqausa.comUnited States
BSI Management Systems1 800 862 4977www.bsiamericas.comUnited States
BVQI716 484 9002http://www.bvqina.comUS
Canadian General Standards Board1-800-665-2472www.ongc-cgsb.gc.caCA
EAGLE Registrations, Inc.800-795-3641www.eagleregistrations.comUS
European Quality Assurance L.L.C.973-208-8410www.eqausa.comUS
Global ISO 9001 Registrars, Inc540-548-1910www.globalISO 9001 Registrars.comUS
Global ISO 9001 Registrars, Inc.   
Intertek Systems Certification1-800-561-5051
Intertek Systems Certification852-21738888
Intertek Systems Certification(44) 1277 358231(44) 1277 358231United Kingdom
Intertek Systems Certification1-800-810-1195 States
shelly spurlin828-241-3254 US


ISO 9001 Registrar Basics

Generally, when you sign a contract with a ISO 9001 Registrar, it will include the ISO 9001 Registration Audit, and Surveillance Audits. The ISO 9001 Registration Audit is the initial audit that will be done to see if you will achieve ISO 9001 Registration. After you have your ISO 9001 Registration, the ISO 9001 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. ISO 9001 Registrars vary in their approach, so you will want to find out details from each ISO 9001 Registrar you are interested in.

Your certificate will be valid for 3 years. After that period your ISO 9001 Registrar will be required to do another ISO 9001 Registration Audit to renew your certification. The contract you set up with your ISO 9001 Registrar will be for the three year period. You would renew your contract after three years to start the cycle again.

ISO 9001 Registration Audit: An audit of your QMS system to see if you meet the requirements of ISO 9001 and will achieve ISO 9001 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 ISO 9001 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 ISO 9001 Registrar.

The costs are typically dependant on the number of audit days required for the ISO 9001 Registration audit and the surveillance audits, the travel costs for the auditors, and the administration fees and accreditation fees for the ISO 9001 Registration.

Choosing a ISO 9001 Registrar

The most important factor in choosing a ISO 9001 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 ISO 9001 Registrars to get a good idea of the options available and differences between ISO 9001 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 ISO 9001 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.

The ISO 9001 Registration Audit

Registration Audit

When the day of your Registration Audit has arrived, it is time to showcase your Quality Management System. The Auditor or Auditors are coming in to see how you have addressed the requirements of ISO 9001, and how you have designed your QMS.

Preparing for the Audit

Prepare the employees

Before the Audit you will want to make sure that all employees know that the audit will be taking place, and the purpose of the audit. This will help them understand how to respond to the auditors' questions. You want employees to respond openly and honestly to the auditor.  The auditor is looking for evidence that you are complying with the requirements of ISO 9001, your employees are the ones that will be providing that evidence. Preparing them to answer the auditors questions will make the audit go more smoothly.

  • This is not a test. If the auditor asks a question, they are looking for information on how something works, not if the employee has all the answers but how the employee goes about finding answers and information. Do procedures provide information? If the information is not in a procedure, where does the employee go next, do they ask a supervisor? Use our Employee ISO 9001 Implementation Package to update employees on this issue and other implementation steps throughout your project.

Prepare the facility

  • Make sure all areas of the facility are clean and neat; there are potential nonconformances hiding in any given mess.
  • Make sure documents are available where every they need to be used.
  • Check bulletin boards, counters, cupboards, drawers for uncontrolled documents, un calibrated measuring and monitoring instruments and unidentified parts or supplies.

Prepare for the Auditor

  • Have a copy of the Quality Manual and Quality System Procedures available for the auditor.
  • Designate a place for them to work when they are not out in the facility. They will need to work on their documentation and reporting.
  • Assign someone to go with the Auditor to show them where different areas and departments are. Coach this person to let employees answer the auditors questions, not answer the questions themselves unless the question was directed to them.

Free Download: This valuable implementation kit will be a great help to you as you go through your implementation process. The kit includes How-to Implementation Guide and 3 PowerPoint Presentations.