I am going to be involved in getting ISO. What is the best training course for me?

There are obviously many training classes out there but there are commonly three or four types.

Firstly there are the auditing classes: internal auditor and lead auditor.  Then there are implementation classes and awareness classes.

The awareness classes tend to be introductory and very general in nature.  Someone would understand what ISO is but wouldn’t be able to audit or manage an ISO project, for instance.  It might be useful for management or generally for all personnel.

Implementation classes do exist but they are rare.  Many people who embark on ISO have consultants or do it themselves from previous experience.  Thus these courses run only infrequently.  Although trainers publicize them, they don’t always run.  It is also important to remember that this is a substantial and complex subject and frankly a few days’ training is not really adequate to cover it well.  It might be a good introduction but it is unlikely to be all that is needed.

Auditing courses are more common.  This is because all ISO organizations need to do auditing and so there is quite a need to train auditors.

Lead auditing is a professional audit course that is “needed” by all certification body auditors.  It is popular with ISO project managers and implementation teams because it gives them an understanding of ISO from the point of view of their auditor.  Theoretically it trains them to understand the standard just as well.  The course is 5 days, detailed and intensive.  There is lots of content and it provides the best possible situation for providing in-house expertise.  In our lead auditor training course we constantly present the issues from the perspective of implementing ISO as well as auditing it — they are different perspectives.

Accredited ISO lead auditor classes (e.g. IRCA) are recognized worldwide and are a meaningful qualification to organizations (so it looks good on the resume).

Because the lead auditor class is so beneficial and “desirable” it is more likely to be available and is generally more popular.  Without hesitation it is the class that is most useful to the broadest number of people.