How long does ISO certification last

How long does ISO certification last? Does ISO certification need to be renewed?


ISO certification is sought after by majority of the business owners as it allows their businesses to gain credibility from an internationally recognised body. As a general rule of thumb, ISO certification expiry takes place three years after the issue date. 

What is ISO Certification? International Organization For Standardization

The ISO refers to the International Organization for Standardization. It is an independent body that provides standards for efficiency of services and products, quality, environmental sustainability and safety. Successful managers get help from good consultants such as Edara systems. An ISO certification helps organisations increase their brand image, business reputation and overall efficiency. The other benefits of ISO certification include identifying risks, preventing problems from recurring, improving control over the business, improving employee performance and boosting marketing efforts.

iso recertification audit period

How long does ISO certification last? The needs to maintain ISO

After an organisation acquires an ISO certification, it is valid for three years. An organisation needs to establish a quality management system that must be regularly maintained to remain compliant and achieve the intended objectives. An organisation is awarded the ISO certification once the final stage of the certification audit is completed and an auditor effectively reviews all observations and findings; It doesn’t matter you are using ISO 45001 or ISO 9001.

Even though the certificate is issued for three years, after the ISO certification is awarded, the organisation must have a mandatory annual surveillance audit. The certification is suspended if it is discovered that the organisation has failed to maintain its policies or has failed to conduct the surveillance audit. 

The needs to maintain ISO

ISO certification expiry; What happens after 3 years?

The majority of ISO certifications remain valid for three years. The certificate expires once it reaches the expiration date. However, not every certification remains valid for three years. As mentioned above, companies must undergo surveillance audits annually to renew the validity of the certificate. 

Once the certificate expires, the company can renew it by getting the organisation reassessed by an external auditor. This surveillance audit is very similar to the initial ISO certification audit. An accreditation certification body comes to the organisation to assess the relevant systems and recommend how standard operating procedures can be improved.

ISO certification expiry

ISO certification process; Three steps and preconditions

The first prerequisite to acquiring an ISO certification is choosing a management standard. There are over 22,000 international standards created for different industries. For example, the ISO 9001 quality management system is a popular place for companies to start as it helps to ensure that the business delivers a consistent level of quality. The other well-known standards include ISO 45001 for occupational health and safety, ISO 14001 for environmental sustainability and ISO 27001 for information security. 

  • The first step for ISO certification is to create an application or a contract. The registrar and applicant should mutually agree on the contract. This contract would define the access rights, confidentiality, liability issues, obligation and rights of both parties.
  • The second step is quality document review. Here, the ISO auditor will individually review all quality manuals related to different procedures and policies being followed within the organisation. By checking the existing work, the ISO auditor can identify potential gaps between the current situation and the stipulated requirements outlined in the ISO standards.
  • The third step is to make an action plan. After conducting the review of quality documents, the ISO auditor communicates the gaps which exist within the organisation. Based on the identified gaps, a plan of action is prepared to eliminate these issues. It includes a list of necessary tasks that need to be performed to bring about the desired changes within the organisation. Examples of tasks can range from policy changes, new operational procedures and training requirements that employees need to adapt to new policies.
ISO certification process

What happens during audit examinations?

The next step is the initial certification audit. Stage one of the initial certification audit begins with the ISO auditor examining the changes made by the organisation. During this examination, the ISO auditor will try to identify all possible non-conformities in the system. These non-conformities would be categorised as major and minor. The applicant must vigilantly assess all these nonconformities to create a plan that helps to achieve the desired quality standards. All of these stages is the same for ISO 9001 certification or another ISO certifications.

After the organisation’s desired changes have been made, the ISO auditor conducts the final audit. The ISO auditor will examine if all the nonconformities have been eliminated and if the revised system aligns with the ISO quality standards. The final ISO audit report is prepared and forwarded to the registrar if the auditor is satisfied.

The necessity of ISO certificate validity check

The time taken to complete the entire ISO certification process can vary from organisation to organisation. The ISO certification agency can give a fair idea of the approximate time after its initial assessment. However, small organisations can take up to 6 to 8 months to acquire the certificate. Medium-size organisations might have eight to twelve months for the certification process to complete. Large-size organisations might need a year and above. If you want to know more about ISO 27001 certification Australia, please click on the relevant link and read the whole contents.

ISO certification cost for renewal period

There is no fixed price or tariff for ISO certification. The ISO certification cost varies from organisation to organisation. The ISO certification agency individually calculates the cost of ISO certification for each organisation after considering different parameters, including the number of processes, size of the organisation, number of employees, level of risk associated with the scope of services, complexity of current management system and number of working shifts. how long does ISO certification last?

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