Selecting a Quality Systems Registrar - Important Considerations
What key elements should you consider when selecting a quality systems registrar? PRI Registrar knows there are many factors to consider-so it's important to understand that not all registrars are the same.
Selecting a registrar accredited by a certifying body such as ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB), is a good first step. These registrars must possess and display specific competencies within their organization before being considered for accreditation. They are required to uphold these standards and are subject to rigorous annual audits. Failure to maintain these competencies could lead to suspension or even expulsion from the accreditation body.
Reputation is another key factor when deciding on a registrar. It is always a good practice to speak with references before making a selection. References provide a neutral perspective and speaking to someone in your position may help secure your decision. A reputable registrar should be willing to provide references upon request and without prior approval from their customers. Registrar philosophies differ so it is important to know that there is alignment with your organization's overall goals.
Other elements to look for in a registrar are industry experience and auditor competencies. The registrar selected should have prior experience in your industry and previously certified hundreds or even thousands of customers. This adds credibility to your certification and ensures that the registrar maintains a qualified and experienced auditor base in your business.
The geographic proximity and size of an organization is another deciding factor. If your facilities only reside in North America, then you may not require a registrar that has global capabilities. However, it is important that your registrar has auditors within reasonable proximity to your facilities to limit travel expenses. An organization with global and U.S. locations may require a registrar with a more world-wide presence.
The costs associated with obtaining and maintaining your management system can add up over time, so it is important to ask questions and understand all the associated costs. ISO and AS contracts can be difficult to decipher, so understating the total investment is crucial. In addition to the audit fees, registration fees are common and should be provided upfront. Look for hidden charges to ensure the costs are exactly as they appear.
Lastly, organizations seeking certification should understand that they have certain expectations and responsibilities associated with registration. To better understand those expectations and responsibilities, you can view the ANAB Client Bill of Rights.
For more information about selecting a quality systems registrar, call us at 724-772-1616 or contact us online.