How long does it take to get ISO 9001?
A realistic estimate is somewhere between 7 to 11 months. Or thereabouts.
Allowing around 9-12 months for the whole project is reasonable. Note this is total elapsed time, not full time effort!
The mean time to implement ISO 9001 was 8 months, according to an Australian survey, although that was for the 2008 version rather than the current one (2015). Even then, any mean figure has those below and above it. So it may take you more or less time.
Getting certification in under 8 months would require that you are already in fairly good shape, that you place it high on your priority list and that you keep focus on it.
Less than 3 months is unrealistic.
Yes, it is very very occasionally achieved but usually only in exceptional circumstances - for example, a DIY 9001 Kit customer did manage it, but such a very short timeframe is extremely rare.
'Next week' is not achievable. Not with any reputable and duly accredited certifier.
In your haste to achieve ISO 9001 certification, don't overlook the importance of the process of getting there. It's a sound management system you're aiming for, not just a single mad dash to a finish line.
It's more effective to take a little more time to improve your existing system and bring people along with you, helping get it bedded in and working well, than it is to simply try to rush madly toward 'the certificate' as your sole goal. That way usually lies failure and disillusionment.
Author: Jane Bennett