When it comes to obtaining accreditations such as FSC and ISO for construction companies, the two main options are using employees or engaging external consultants. Getting accreditation can be an important step in demonstrating your company's commitment to sustainable and responsible practices and can also provide a competitive advantage, so you want to ensure you’re setting yourself up for a successful process.
Accreditation through In-House Expertise
Using employees is a cost-effective option as it eliminates the need to hire external consultants. Employees will better understand the company culture and processes, which can lead to a more efficient accreditation process. Companies also have more control over the accreditation process, which can be important if some specific requirements or preferences need to be incorporated. Finally, using employees can ensure the accreditation is maintained and updated over time.
However, using employees could have its drawbacks. Obtaining accreditation can be a time-consuming and resource-intensive process, and the company may need to invest significant internal resources to achieve this goal, taking staff away from other duties. Furthermore, suppose the employees need to gain experience with the specific accreditation process. In that case, navigating the process and achieving the desired certification may be challenging.
The Value of Expert Consultants
On the other hand, using external consultants can provide the expertise and experience needed to ensure a successful accreditation process. An experienced consultant can bring the successful implementation practices employed with previous clients. You will not be the guinea pig in figuring out whether or not you will achieve accreditation.
In addition, consultants can guide the company through the process and provide impartial evaluation and assessment. As a result, the process can be completed more quickly and efficiently with the help of external consultants, and they can provide objective and unbiased recommendations for improvement.
Going the external consultant route will need to be weighed against the upfront cost; external consultants can be a significant expense, especially taking into account dependence on the consultant for maintaining the accreditation into the future. In addition, the consultant may need to put in a lot of work understanding the company culture and processes to create a system that doesn't place significant work onto your team to maintain it.
Finding the Best Fit for Construction Accreditations
Ultimately, both employees and external consultants have advantages and disadvantages when obtaining accreditations for construction companies. Companies should weigh each option's pros and cons carefully before deciding. The best choice depends on the organisation's needs, resources, and budget.
We've created this simple list of questions to consider to determine if you should use an external consultant or an employee. If you want to learn more about achieving FSC or ISO accreditation using SignOnSite, please book a demonstration today.
Assessment Tool for Evaluating In-House v Consultants
1. Do you have existing skills or experience within the organisation to undertake accreditation?
a. If so, what is the scope this person can commit to accreditation?
b. If not, do you want this skill long-term for the company's growth?
2. Do you have time considerations that will impact your choice (i.e. is this a requirement for a tender work that needs urgent attention), or can this be planned for?
3. What is the budget for accreditation, and does this include ongoing audit support?
4. Who will be responsible after the initial accreditation?
5. Have you factored in the change costs?
6. What are your organisation's fixed one-off costs vs. ongoing monitoring and maintenance costs?
7. If hiring externally, what parameters will you place on the external consultant to manage vs the internal oversight?
8. If using internal resources, are there unique scopes of work that can lighten the load for the individual?