The ISO 27001 & ISO 22301 Blog

Dejan Kosutic

Lead Auditor Course vs. Lead Implementer Course – Which one to go for?

If you are just entering the world of ISO 27001 or ISO 22301, you’re probably considering going for some training. This is certainly a good idea; however, which course is better for you – Lead Auditor Course, or Lead Implementer Course?

Everything you’ll read in this article is valid not only for ISO 27001 and ISO 22301 courses, but also for ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO 20000 courses.

What do these courses look like?

Both the Lead Auditor and Lead Implementer courses last for five days, and on the fifth day you have to pass an exam; both courses are quite intense, and normally you have to attend 40 hours in 5 days.

On the first day of the course, you will take a detailed look into each clause of the standard, and a tutor will teach you how to interpret the standard, as well as the underlying logic. After this first day, the Lead Auditor course will focus mainly on auditing techniques of the particular standard, while the Lead Implementer course will explain the best methods for implementation.

Most of the courses are quite interactive – e.g., the courses I delivered had about 15 workshops during these 5 days, which gave students a perfect opportunity to learn while doing the group work; of course, there are also lectures, and a good tutor will encourage discussion and applicability of the standard to real situations.

You do not need any special knowledge to enroll in the course – if you go for the ISO 27001 or ISO 22301 course, it is enough to have average knowledge of IT, and no prior knowledge of information security or business continuity is needed.


The main differences

Lead Auditor courses can (and should) be accredited (see next section about choosing the training provider), while there is no accreditation for the Lead Implementer course.

However, the main difference between these two courses is in their focus. If you want to focus your career on auditing, you should definitely go for the Lead Auditor course; if you are a practitioner who is focused on implementation, you should go for the Lead Implementer course. If you are in a consulting business, you should probably go for both, because this is how you’ll learn not only the implementation techniques, but also the certification auditor’s criteria; not to mention that the more certificates you have as a consultant, the more valuable you are.

Which training provider to choose?

These courses are usually provided by the certification bodies, but also by specialized training organizations. You should just search the Internet for the certification bodies in your country, and chances are that you’ll find such courses locally.

When choosing a training provider, you should look for Lead Auditor courses that are accredited by IRCA or RABQSA – this means that, once you pass the exam, this certificate will be accepted by any certification body if you choose to work as lead auditor for them. Read also How to become ISO 27001 Lead Auditor.

There are no accreditations for the Lead Implementer course, so your first criteria when choosing a course should be the tutor – if this person has a good reputation, chances are you will attend a high-quality course.

Invest time in your education

It is true that being absent from work for five whole days may sound like science fiction to you, so if you do not plan to focus your career on ISO standards you could go for one- or two-day courses – see a list here: How to learn about ISO 27001 and BS 25999-2.

However, if you seriously plan to have a career in ISO 27001 or ISO 22301, these five days will be a crucial investment for you. Believe me, not only will you get the certificate (which is a must if you want others to recognize you), but you will also learn the essence about these standards – something you won’t be able to do just by reading the standard from time to time.

You can attend Lead Auditor and Lead Implementer courses for free by visiting this eTraining page.

If you’re planning to start an ISO 27001 or ISO 22301 project, it would be good to know which person you need to lead such project.

To learn how to become an ISO 27001 Lead Auditor, see this article, and to find out what ISO 27001 Lead Auditor training looks like, see this article.

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