Frequently Asked Questions

What is the certification process?

Certification as it is commonly referred to in the United States, is carried out by a registrar organization such as ISA. It is accomplished through a series of document reviews, facility visits and audits of the organization’s quality management system (QMS) and operations to determine their conformance to the requirements of the applicable standard. In brief, the auditors look at variety of issues including, but not limited to the applicant organization’s administration, design and production processes, quality system documentation, personnel training records, management reviews, internal quality audit reports, and corrective and preventive actions, as applicable.

Before the audit takes place, will ISA provide us with an audit plan and audit schedule?

Yes! ISA will match the audit requirements to your organizational structure and provide a well-defined audit plan and a detailed audit schedule for your review well in advance of the actual audit.

Does ISA charge extra for schedule adjustments?

No! ISA realizes that your time is very important and the audit schedule may need to be modified due to unforeseen circumstances. There is no charge to adjust the schedule with proper advance notice.

What are the lead times for pre-assessment and the certification audit?

ISA prefers an advance notice of four weeks for a pre-assessment and at least four to eight weeks advance notice for certification audit. However, we feel our clients come first and we try our best to honor any urgent requests.

How much does certification cost?

This depends on a variety of factors. It is generally based on the structure of the organization, number of employees, type of processes performed, number of sites, and the standard to which certification is desired.

Does ISA charge for travel time for the auditors to come to our site and does this include handling fees?

ISA does not charge for travel time as long as the travel is within the southwestern region of United States. ISA may charge for travel time if it involves travel of half a day or longer. Travel time is charged without any extra handling fees. All travel expenses are billed at actual cost. Outside of United States, depending upon availability, ISA selects local auditors from the region to avoid/reduce travel related expenses.

When we apply, can we contact the assigned Lead Auditor before the certification audit begins?

Yes! The dialogue between you and your Lead Auditor is very important as this interaction helps coordinate the entire certification program. Your assigned Lead Auditor will be a valuable resource to guide you through the pre-certification and certification process.

During the audit some information is collected that may be sensitive and proprietary, how can we be sure it will remain confidential?

ISA has confidentiality agreements with all our auditors and staff. Any information collected during the audit remains confidential and secured.