Reducing The Stress Of The Audit And Certification Process

The audit process can be quite stressful – especially in the initial stages of certification when you are not quite sure how the process will work.

The best way to reduce this stress is through good preparation.

1. Do your own internal audits against your own policies and procedures. You will know your systems better than any auditor so identify your key processes and check that you are doing what you say you do. If you find differences between what your procedures say and what is actually being done, do a Root Cause Analysis to identify the problem.

a.    Are your procedures inefficient and need to be improved?
b.    Do staff need further training to better understand the procedures?
c.    Does everyone know where to find the procedures?
d.    Do you have multiple versions of the procedures?

Make sure you look at the areas where the biggest risks lie for the business. Don’t try and look at everything at once. Your auditor will want to see that you have an internal audit schedule in place and that you have completed a number of audits and acted on the results.

2. Make sure you have conducted a management review prior to your stage 1 audit. This should include:

a.    Assessing opportunities for improvement and the need for changes to the management system
b.    Reviewing results of internal audits
c.    Reviewing the quality policy and quality objectives and any other objectives that are relevant.

3. Make sure you have good communication with your auditor and you understand what will be required for the audit and who will need to be involved. This should be outlined in your audit plan.

4. Once the Stage 1 audit has been completed, ensure that you fully understand anything that your auditor has advised must be addressed prior to your stage 2 audit. Take the time to talk this through so that you understand what needs to be done.

5. Remember it is your management system that is being certified and this needs to be something that you use to run your business, not some separate system designed to achieve compliance with the standard. You need to understand what the standard requires so you can ensure your system will comply but there is nothing in the standard that a good business would not be doing anyway so don’t get confused by the jargon and ISO speak and ask your auditor to explain findings in language that you can understand.

Of course the easiest way to reduce the stress is to engage Sci Qual International to conduct your audits. Our commitment to you is to provide “a simplified certification process ... GUARANTEED.

This does not mean that the audit will not be robust – it will.

  • It means that the process of dealing with Sci Qual International will be easy.
  • You will find us responsive from your first contact.
  • You will find us flexible in meeting your needs.
  • You will find our auditors are pragmatic and seeking to add value to your business.
  • You will find our client managers will work with you to achieve positive outcomes and they will provide one point of contact – not a call centre.
     

Are you ready to get ISO 9001 certified? Go through our checklist online.