Ensure that the system will be accredited by UKAS or National Certified Assessment Organisation which should be a member of the European cooperation for Accreditation (EA) and/or International Accreditation Forum (IAF) for outside Europe.
The Assessment Organisations audit and accredit the Certified Organisations who then visit the Business to determine whether the Business has met the requirements of the relevant Standard.
Regrettably there are some self appointed Certification Organisations which exploit Businesses. They provide a very generic set of documents, which they self audit (often without onsite visit) and provide a Certificate. Such certificates demote the Business in the eyes of existing or prospective knowledgeable Customers
To check the Accreditation Organisation go to http://www.ukas.com/about-accreditation/accredited-bodies/default.asp
2. Not to use a Mate or Friend
Lack of objective experience
Limited breath of documentation. Tend to use the system from their last employer
Often using Microsoft Word for Manual & Procedures.
3. See example Documentation & Systems
Check that the Consultant /Organisation has suitable documentation to both comply with the Standard but also to your Business requirements
Check the preferred system. Traditionally systems were written in Microsoft Word. Now they can vary from Word to PowerPoint to interlinked Web-pages to specially developed Programs.
Increasingly web-based system provide the benefits of no initial capital expense, fast start, editable by the Client (so it is your system), links to all your current Forms & Documents and integrated between your Responsibilities, Process Diagrams etc. An example is http://charter4.wpengine.com/packages/per4ma-business-model/
4. Relevant Experience & Ease of Communication
Ensure that there is sufficient relevant experience to understand and to help your Business gain Certification & improve.
5. Allocate the Responsibility and Time
Make sure that the relevant Top Management & Key personnel are involved in defining the documentation & system. The Business is investing its money. It also needs to invest time of key personnel to ensure the documented systems reflects Best Practice within the Business
6. Look for business Improvement (not just Compliance to the Standard)
Define what is important to the Business. Define and publish suitable measures. Monitor, decide and implement suitable Actions
7. Will the system assist & grow with the Company
Define & implement your Improvement Process, which is crucial for long term success
Market conditions are and will continue to be volatile
If you are not improving, your Competition will be improving