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Advice on becoming an ISO Management Systems Consultant




I am student coming to my final few months of my course (BSc Environmental Management) I have studied and built a fictional ISO:9001:2008 and ISO:14001:2004. As I know there a market out there for building ISO for business I don’t know how to get into that market??. I know there accreditation courses available although I have just paid ?11,000 for my university course.

I am after any views or opinions on how to break into industry?
ISO auditing courses??
Can I just set up my own consultation company without any accreditation to my name?
Thank you.

:confused: :confused:


Staff member
Super Moderator
Re: Advice (ISO industry)

Without many years of hands-on experience, it will be very difficult. Clients (at least in the USA) look at a proven track record.

Ajit Basrur

Staff member
Re: Advice (ISO industry)

I agree with Stijloor ... without experience, a Consultant can not much offer advice.

PS - Pls note that I have changed your thread title.


Quite Involved in Discussions
Re: Pls advice on becoming an ISO consultant

Imagine you were the Managing Director of a company which had decided to implement a management system such as 9001 or 14001. You realise that you don't have the in-house skills to do it yourself so you want to employ a consultant to help you.

Who would you look for? would it be a young, inexperienced consultant or an older more experience person? What else would affect your judgement? price, how much will each one charge and what do I get for my money? What sort of success rate does the consultant have and could he speak with previous clients?

Unfortunately, the odds are stacked against a young consultant - not that I believe that young is bad and old is good by the way! It is just that it is easier to go with the known quantity.

So how do you get involved? Well I started about 25 years ago working with another consultant who took me 'under his wing' and 'showed me the ropes' (too many cliches here I think). It was a great way to learn. So if I may suggest, find a local consultancy organisation or 2 and offer your services through them. You won't get the best day rates around but at least you will build your experience and have a portfolio of clients who can vouch for your good work and competence.


Quite Involved in Discussions
Re: Pls advice on becoming an ISO consultant

Is there any merit in gaining experience through a company working on their quality system? Say if you got a job with the big 4 automotive companies in their quality department. They wouldtrain you and after some experience you could then apply it to consultancy perhaps.

I would have thought you'd probably need experience working for more than one operation/company too.

I used to work with someone who did the OP's degree course who wanted to become a consultant in the general environmental field not ISO quality, environmental, etc. She had a very good degree but could not get into consultancy despite the highest regards from her tutors and department which was a highly regarded degree and department. Result is she had to get a job which was an administration job. She got lucky and her tutor happened to know the consultant who was involved in recruiting for a medium sized consultancy and she got the nod as a trainee in the firm. Lucky!

My point is consultancy is all about experience and knowledge in my mind. No shortcuts. You might have the second (although you will always learn more I think) but doing the sample 9k and 14k manuals does not count as sufficient experience. All the quality people I have met tend to be from other fields who have moved into quality. That means experience.

Sorry if I sound negative. I do wish you well.


Re: Please advice on becoming an ISO Management Systems Consultant

As has been touched on, having experience is one of the main factors clients use to select a consultant.
Maybe your first step should be to get a job within a quality function and put some of your theory into practice?

Jeff Frost

Re: Please advice on becoming an ISO Management Systems Consultant

All things considered, and because ISO has a standard for just about everything, I would recommend that you read ISO 10019 which is guidance document for selection of QMS consultants (it’s also for use by consultants) to gain some understanding about what it takes to be a consultant.

If you feel that you can be a good consultant right out of school you might be right or you may need to take a few jobs in you field of study to get a better understanding of how to implement management systems. In either case that decision is up to you.


Re: Please advice on becoming an ISO Management Systems Consultant

Get experience. Experience, experience, experience.

There is absolutely NO substitute for it, in any field and particularly so in consulting.

Without it, you could have all the book learning in the world, and all the qualifications you like, but no real world experience. Which makes you not worth much as a consultant.

As a consultant, I draw on my experience all the time, and apply it to the benefit of clients. It's one of the first questions a potential client asks.

I've been a consultant for many years, in my own firm and before that with other consulting firms (and before that, running my own business, working for others etc).

Nothing, but nothing, makes up for lack of experience in my book.


as the others have mentioned you have to have a good experience. now there is a training course ( certified quality consultant for QMS). you can contact the A.I.P.S for that.
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