When should you change your ISO9001:2015 registrar?

In the last couple of decades doing consulting for ISO9001:2015 (and 2008, and 2000, and 1994, etc) I’ve come across a few people who thought it was important to have a “prestigious” registrar company do their registration and surveillance audits. There are some really large companies providing ISO9001:2015 certification services, such as DNV, Lloyds, Intertek, etc. But there are also hundreds of small companies providing registration and certification services. Which one should you choose?

Only once have I heard of a customer (a very important customer) strongly suggesting that their vendor should be certified by a particular registrar. It happens, but I suspect it’s a rare occurrence.

Are there any advantages to going with a large, well known registrar company? There can be advantages. The large company probably works with a fairly large number of auditors, and there’s a better chance that they’ll have an auditor who is nearby, so you can avoid expensive travel and lodging charges.

But let’s not discount small registrars. I’ve worked with a number of registrars, and the smaller ones often have better customer service. You don’t get lost in the shuffle.

And don’t forget about pricing. The cost quoted from one registrar to another can be enormous. Recently I solicited registration bids for a client, and got 6 quotes. I was surprised at the amount of variation between the quotes. The lowest quote was about one quarter the amount of the highest quote.

Another point to consider when choosing a registrar is how many days they will want to charge you for an audit. Despite the fact that there are guidelines that all registrars are supposed to follow, there can sometimes be variation in the amount of audit days they want to charge you.

Don’t be complacent with your current registrar just because that’s who your company has used in the past. I encourage everyone to periodically solicit bids from other registrars. You might save your company a lot of money, and you also might end up with a registrar with better customer service.

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