Prepare for Your ISO Certification Audit with These 5 Tips

Prepare for Your ISO Certification Audit with These 5 Tips

Obtaining an ISO certification is a great achievement, but it doesn't end there. Once you’ve been certified, you need to undergo regular audits to maintain your certification. These audits are designed to evaluate your quality management system and determine if it's continuing to meet the ISO standard’s requirements.
If you’re seeking ISO certification and going through the audit experience for the first time, getting everything ready can feel overwhelming. So, whether your organization is already certified and planning for your yearly surveillance audit, or you’re going through the ISO certification process for the first time, we offer up these five tips to help you prepare for your ISO certification audit.

1. Plan Ahead 

ISO certification audits usually take place every year, so you have a whole year to prepare. Avoid the last-minute rush by planning ahead. Start by reviewing the previous audit report and determine the corrective actions that were required. Ensure that all areas highlighted have been addressed and that you have sufficient evidence to support your compliance.

2. Conduct an Internal Audit

An internal audit will help you identify potential non-conformances before the third-party, iso certification audit. This allows you to correct the non-conformances and demonstrate to the auditor that you have an effective quality management system. This internal audit should be conducted by an independent person that is knowledgeable in ISO standards and your quality management system.

3. Train Your Employees

Your employees are an integral part of your quality management system. Ensure that your employees are aware of the requirements of ISO standards and that they understand their roles and responsibilities. Provide regular training to your employees, especially new ones, on the importance of the quality management system and their contribution towards adhering to the ISO standards.

4. Keep Accurate Records

An ISO certification auditor will want to see evidence that your company is operating under the requirements laid out in the ISO standard. Ensure that all records are accurate and up to date. Provide evidence of your quality management system through records such as meeting minutes, training records, corrective action reports and past audits. Accurate records save the auditor time and help them complete their assessment quickly.

5. Prepare for the Audit Interview

During the ISO certification audit, the auditor will interview your staff to determine if they understand the quality management system and how it's implemented in their day-to-day work. Prepare your employees for this interview and make sure that they are well-informed and can answer questions regarding the quality management system. Remember, the auditor expects the same level of knowledge from employees in different departments, so prepare everyone accordingly

Preparing for an ISO certification audit can be seen as daunting, but it doesn't have to be. By following the tips we've outlined, you can set yourself up for success and make the process run much smoother than scrambling at the last minute. Remember to plan, conduct an internal audit, train your employees, keep accurate records and prepare your employees for the audit interviews. By doing so, you can demonstrate your compliance to the ISO standards and maintain/achieve your certification.
To start the ISO certification process, or if you’re considering transferring your current ISO certification to a new certification body, you can request a quote or contact us with any questions you may have.

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