ISO 27001 Consultancy costs: a comprehensive guide 

May 1st, 2024 Posted in ISO 27001

As an organisation, you undoubtedly understand the importance of ensuring your information and associated assets are secure from potential and actual security threats. As we recently discussed in our latest blog on integrating ISO standards, implementing an Information Security Management System (ISMS) has become essential for organisations of all sizes and across all industries, looking to bolster their security posture. 

If you’re thinking about starting on the path towards ISO 27001 certification and require external guidance from qualified and experienced ISO consultants, you will understandably be curious about the costs associated with the certification. 

There are many factors that contribute to the varying costs of ISO 27001 certification. Some may be direct costs such as optional consultancy and mandatory certification audit costs, some indirect costs where ISO 27001 requirements may drive you to invest in technology and other resources. 

In this blog, we aim to provide you with expert guidance in order to make an informed decision that meets both your requirements and your budget.  

What does ISO 27001 Consultancy Involve

If you’re at the stage where you are gathering quotes for ISO 27001 consultancy, then you most likely understand what ISO 27001 is about – however if you’d like to take a deeper dive, then you can download our free Guide to ISO 27001 here.  

It is more pertinent at this stage, to understand what ISO 27001 consultancy involves, and you can find plenty of information on this in our comprehensive blogs, such as the role of your external consultant, what is an ISO 27001 Gap Analysis and what has changed in the new ISO 27001:2022 standard.  

It is also helpful to at least have a base level understanding of where you are in the process before you engage with an ISO consultancy. Do you simply need a gap analysis to help identify gaps in and areas of improvement to your current level of compliance, or do you want a formal and independent internal audit to verify that what your own implementation efforts have addressed the requirements of the standard? Or do you need to start from scratch and have guidance and support on the whole implementation process right through to certification?  

The cost of ISO 27001 standard consultancy in 2024 

So, the crucial question, how much should you expect to spend on ISO 27001 implementation? The cost of ISO 27001 implementation in 2024 in the UK can range anywhere from £9,000 up to £15,000. However, there are many factors that influence these costs, read on to learn about them. 

What should you be wary of?

We would always recommend that you take the time to select an organisation that is right for you: one that can demonstrate proven expertise in your specific industry and that you feel has the right cultural fit: you will after all work together for some months. What certifications should you look for when researching ISO consultancy services? Reputable ISO consultants should be certified Lead Auditors or Lead Implementers. At a minimum, they should be able to evidence that they have worked with organisations of a similar context to yours. You may also wish to consider whether knowledge of other, relevant standards may be a requirement. 

Factors influencing ISO 27001 costs

As we mentioned, there are many factors that influence the costs of ISO 27001 certification, so let’s get into it.  

Scope: This may seem obvious, but the complexity and size of your organisation may impact the scope of your ISO project which in turn can significantly impact your consultancy budget. Before providing you with a scope, a consultancy will want to know: 

  • The industry within which you operate, 
  • If you have any other relevant ISO certification. If you already hold an ISO certification, it may be appropriate to combine your management systems into an Integrated Management System (IMS), 
  • The number of sites in scope, especially if their physical security requirements differ, 
  • The number of locations in scope: an organisation with offices outside of the UK is likely to be subject to different laws and regulations, 
  • Your number of permanent staff and their geographical spread, 
  • Any time constraint, 
  • Your dependency on cloud-based vs on-premise services, 
  • Whether or not you develop software, 
  • Whether you operate centralised or local processes, such as HR or finance, 
  • Your reliance on third parties for development and other business processes, 
  • How much of the ‘heavy lifting’ you expect the consultancy to do. For example, do you prefer a light touch approach where the consultant provides guidance, or a more involved one where the consultant develops policies and processes and delivers training on specific ISO topics. 

If  you’re unsure of the level of consultancy you require, or you need some guidance on where to start, it is a good idea to approach with an ISO consultancy company that offers various levels of engagement and who is transparent over their costs and advice. Frank and honest conversations about your requirements will always help the consultancy formulate proposal that is closely aligned to your expectations.    

At Evalian, we offer a few different ISO consultancy packages to choose from. As an example, we can offer benchmark assessments, a full end-to-end ISO 27001 implementation, a pre-certification assessment, internal auditing, and remote ISMS management.  

Organisation Size: Larger organisations with multiple departments, locations, and systems typically need a higher level of support which incurs higher costs. Our approach is to understand the intricacies of an organisation’s infrastructure, daily operations, and business goals. This generally requires meetings and workshops with the relevant people from each department and the stakeholders in the business, which can ramp up the hours spent on an implementation project.  

Current information security status: The stage of maturity your organisation is at with its information security, can affect costs. If you are starting from scratch, you may need a higher level of consultancy compared to an organisation who already has a mature security framework in place. Your existing security controls is therefore important for you to understand when engaging with a provider.  

Internal experts: Some organisations may have in-house employees who have a level of knowledge regarding ISO 27001, and who will help drive the ISMS project forward. However, if this level of in-house expertise is lacking, naturally you will lean more on the guidance from external consultants, which may in turn, affect the hours spent on given tasks.  

It’s also a good practice to measure the cost of implementing ISO 27001 fully in-house against externally outsourcing your ISMS project. A DIY approach can be extremely costly in the long run, as the person or people responsible would be required to have an in-depth knowledge of all aspects of the standard. If you hire a person to do so, you have the long-term cost of a salary, benefits, NI and holiday and sick pay. You’d also need to consider a back-up option if that person was to have an extended time off, which in turn pushes back the implementation process.  

“AN ISMS should be seen as a living thing that needs to be fed and watered to keep it alive. Failing to stay on top of requirements is likely to lead to non-conformities being found in subsequent internal audits and certification may be lost.” – Daniel Djiann, Head of ISO Consultancy and Business Continuity at Evalian. 

Timeline: It’s important to understand how long a successful ISO 27001 implementation can take, and have realistic expectations of the process, approach and the amount of time needed to give to the project internally. You also need to ensure you have the resources to meet these expectations. Be wary of organisations that can offer a full implementation of ISO 27001 within three months. Whilst not impossible, it is unrealistic for most sized organisations.  

ISO certification costs

It’s important to note that whilst consultancies like ourselves can support in choosing accredited certification bodies, the cost of the consultancy does not include costs of certification. ISO certification bodies have their own market focus and pricing strategies and cost differences between certification bodies may vary. You may want to check whether costs for travel, accommodation and admin fees are included. It is recommended to obtain quotes for certification from more than one certification body before making your choice.  

Types of ISO consultancy rates

ISO 27001 consultancy services can be found in various forms, and it’s up to your organisation on which payment rate method would best suit your business needs and help towards saving money in the long term. Some organisations may prefer a retainer, but for many a daily rate works well.  

It’s important to engage with an ISO services company that work on a fully transparent basis, no matter what types of payment options they offer. Having a timeline of workshops is helpful, and details of what is required from you at each stage of the process.  

Conclusion

We’ve covered the influencing factors of costs when it comes to implementing an ISMS. It’s important to think of the cost as a long-term investment in your organisation’s security posture. It may seem like a daunting process to start, however by selecting a reputable and accredited ISO services company that can demonstrate solid reviews and case studies, ensures the process is manageable and gives you confidence in the certification process.  

Whilst becoming ISO 27001 certified is an important step for your organisation in terms of winning new clients, there is also huge value in the implementation and continual improvement of your internal processes and procedures, for employees and stakeholders alike.  

Get a fast quote for IS 27001 consultancy

Whether you need a benchmark assessment or a full ISMS implementation, we can help. With fixed rate, affordable prices, our experienced ISO 27001 consultants can get you certified and help you to remain compliant. View our ISO consultancy solutions here.

Already have ISO 27001 certification but need to upgrade to the new ISO 27001:2022 standard? We have supported several clients smoothly through this upgrade. In fact if you already have a robust security framework of controls in place, the process should only take between 4-7 days. Contact us now to discuss the transition, and get peace of mind before certification bodies lead times are impacted by the 2025 deadline.

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Written by Evalian®