Tuesday, 30 July 2019

How to Choose the Right ISO Certification & Course in 2019

How to choose the right ISO certification, course and exam 2019

Whether you’re looking to become a qualified auditor, implementer or manager in the world of ISO standards, are you confident you’re choosing the right ISO certification and course?

There are hundreds of courses and training vendors on the market and you’ll need to decide which matches your goals – before you invest your precious time and cash.

With that said, here’s what you should look for to ensure you receive a high-quality training experience and achieve a professionally recognised certification. Here’s how to choose the right ISO certification and course in 2019.

1. Certification bodies

A certification body is an organisation that can assess management systems, products - and in some cases, people - against defined standards and attest in writing that certain requirements have been met.

Many management system certification bodies offer ISO training and exams but this does not mean that these courses lead to professional internationally recognised certifications. For that we need the services of a personnel certification body. 

2. Personnel certification body

A personnel certification body is an organisation that assesses the competence, experience, knowledge and skills of individuals leading to the award of professional internationally recognised certifications.

For example, if you want to become a certified ISO Lead Auditor or Lead Implementer you’ll need a certificate awarded by a Personnel Certification body.

A genuine personnel certification body will be accredited under the ISO/IEC 17024 standard. This standard lays out requirements for bodies to assess individuals like you in a fair and impartial manner while leading to the award of recognised certifications.

Such a body should be accredited to this standard by a national accreditation authority recognised by the International Accreditation Forum.

Some recognised personal certification bodies accredited under ISO/IEC 17024 in the information security profession include (ISC)² (CISSP), ISACA (CISA & CISM) and the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB) for Lead Auditor, Lead Implementer and Management training and certification. 

3. Certificate vs certification

Many training providers will state that delegates receive a certificate, either for attendance or after passing an exam.

However, it’s worth noting that any organisation can issue a certificate, but a certificate is not a certification. A certification is a recognised qualification provided by an independent and fully accredited personnel certification body.

Some training providers may even advise delegates that they can go to a personnel certification body and apply for certification after the course. This can be a time consuming and potentially expensive exercise for a delegate and there is no guarantee that a certification will be awarded in this case. 

4. Questions to ask when booking your ISO certification, course or exam

When choosing a provider, you should ask a series of questions to ensure that you choose a high quality course that leads to a professional globally recognised certification.

Be sure to ask these four key questions: 

Who is the body that operates the examination for the course? 
If it is the training provider themselves this is highly unlikely to lead to a professional certification.

Who marks the examination? 
If it is the instructor this clearly shows that the examination and thus any certification awarded is not accredited under ISO/IEC 17024. An instructor marking an examination is clearly not independent and not what would be expected of a professional certification.

Is the certification awarded by an ISO/IEC 17024 accredited personnel certification body?
If so can the provider confirm this?

Does the provider give official course material to prepare delegates for the exam?
For exam PECB providers will offer official PECB training material to prepare delegates for the exam.

5. Choosing PECB as your personnel certification body

At Firebrand, we recommend choosing PECB as your personnel certification body. PECB are an ISO/IEC 17024 accredited personnel certification body and PECB courses are available via a network of resellers – including Firebrand Training – who are authorised to offer PECB courses and exams.

Training with Firebrand or another provider of PECB courses means you’ll receive:
  1. Quality delivery by an assessed and authorised training provider that is assessed against clearly defined standards
  2. Inclusion of an official examination independently assessed by PECB examiners
  3. The award of a professional globally recognised and accredited certification recognised by employers and clients
  4. Inclusion of all exams and certifications under one roof with no extra costs or administration
And if you need your ISO certification fast, choose Firebrand for your ISO course. You’ll get accelerated and all-inclusive ISO courses that include the exam. Simply, you’ll achieve your certification just days, not months.

How to choose the right ISO certification, course and exam 2019