Step by step to becoming an accredited training organisation (ATO)
Registration is the first non-binding step towards gaining accreditation as a training organisation according to ICO. You will not incur any costs or obligations by registering. To register, please send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of your organisation and the first name and surname of the contact person. We will contact you as soon as possible.
After submitting your registration, we will send you an electronic questionnaire. Based on the data in your questionnaire, we will determine which ATO classification (mini, small, medium or large) is the right one for you. And whether the accelerated procedure for accredited training organisations (“ transition“) is an option for you.
We recommend using the accelerated procedure if you are already accredited as a training organisation with another certifier of persons in the relevant topic area. This allows you to obtain temporary ICO approval for one year without any major effort.
After evaluating the electronic questionnaire, we will contact you and clarify any outstanding questions.
Based on your information, you will receive our non-binding offer with the ATO classification and the corresponding conditions. We will also send you the further requirements and next steps for accreditation.
If you agree to the terms, you will receive an invoice for the admission fee (except for ATOs that only want to offer FitSM exams).
The last annual invoice of the certifier of individuals is sufficient proof. Any financial details may be blackened out. We only need to be able to determine which training courses or examinations your company is approved for and which trainers are eligible for which training courses.
Please contact us if you would like to add new topic areas to your accreditation or would like to admit new trainers. We shall be happy to do this for you.
We have to make sure that you have established an education-specific management system for the training courses, but also for the examinations, and that you continuously improve this system.
We pay attention to special processes and procedures as well as documentation, which you can find in our template for auditing training organizations. On the basis of this template, you carry out a self-assessment and submit your documents for document review.
As soon as all the required documents are available and the registration fee has been paid, we will check them and, if necessary, ask you clarify one point or another. When all documents meet our requirements and the registration fee has been paid, the following steps will take place:
Sending the contracts and the invoice for the annual fee
Planning and scheduling of the initial audit to ensure
that the processes and procedures documented and specified by you are institutionalized in your company.
The training organisation requirements described in the contract are divided into a general and a subject-specific area:
Requirements on the training organisation
Requirements on the trainers
The requirements also depend on the size of the ATO. In particular, Mini and Small ATOs have a considerably reduced catalogue of requirements. The checklists will help you to compile the necessary information and evidence.
As soon as the signed contract is received and the annual fee has been transferred, we will agree on a set date for the initial audit.
Training organisations whose accreditation of another person certifier has been recognised by the ICO shall receive temporary accreditation for one year without an initial audit. This is sufficient time for trainers to make up for the necessary prerequisites such as ICO examinations and for the ATOs to provide the relevant documents.
The audit is usually carried out on site for new customers. Our auditors can also certify by video conference. You will receive a detailed report no later than three weeks after the audit.
If no findings have been reached in the audit report that contradict an accreditation (major findings), you will be accepted as an ICO accredited training organisation and will receive the relevant documents. From then on, you may offer relevant training courses with an ICO exam and use the ICO "Accredited Training Organization" logo.
Minor findings documented in the report and any suggestions for improvement must be improved demonstrably within the period specified in the report. The period for making improvements is a maximum of one year.
If the audit reveals that an accreditation on account of any major findings is not possible at this time, the annual fees and registration fees cannot be refunded.
Temporary accreditation without an initial audit, see below,
Please note that you must provide the ICO with all documents from the checklist within one year. The document check and the audit then take place just like for "new" training organizations.
In the case of contract terms of more than one year (a maximum three years), a monitoring audit will take place within one year. A monitoring audit can cover the entire training management system. Here, the auditor can decide whether to conduct the audit on site or via video conference. As a rule, the auditor will attach more importance to the following points:
Were the deviations found during the accreditation audit corrected?
Were at least one management review and one internal audit performed?
Were any infringements detected during this process corrected?
A report of the monitoring audit will then be sent to you within the next three weeks. If this audit has determined that the infringements found in the last audit have not been corrected, accreditation may also be withdrawn at short notice.
ICO reserves the right to initiate an extraordinary audit at any given time. Reasons for these could include, for example:
A remarkably high failure rate in the examinations of a training organisation or in the courses of a trainer
A remarkably high success rate in the examinations of a training organisation or in the courses of a trainer