When an ISO audit is done correctly, it can add value to an organisation, both by improving business and saving unnecessary costs. However, if done haphazardly, an ISO audit can cause significant damage to your business. It also wastes time, money, and resources re-allocated to put things right.
When ISO auditors show up, they are not trying to find petty reasons to pin your organisation down. Rather, an objective external auditor focuses on understanding how your Quality Management System (QMS) works and proving that it complies with ISO 9001:2015 standard. Generally, the auditor will point out specific opportunities for improvement before you receive an ISO certification. Therefore, it helps to avoid the following common mistakes.
- Poor Planning
Internal audits should be conducted in a planned manner to achieve the intended outcomes. A successful internal audit process requires the coordinated efforts of managers, supervisors, and everybody else on board. There are many audit areas that need to be addressed, so if your team isn’t working jointly, it is easy for the auditors to miss critical aspects.
Good planning helps establish a clear roadmap that’s easy to understand and follow by those involved to address nonconformities. Having a realistic action plan helps management bring everyone on board and ensure the selected approach is well coordinated.
- Poor Document Control
An organisation should have a proper process for controlling document management. To pass an audit, you must meet the ISO requirements for creating, labelling, accessing, and maintaining documents within the quality management system.
Quality-driven organisations are required to have detailed documents that include electronic and paper files organised in a way that makes sense to them. These documents must be easily identified, approved by people with authority, and updated. In addition, the auditor should be able to tell the document version to determine if the most current copy is being used.
- Focusing on “Ticking Boxes”
Another common mistake in ISO auditing is cutting corners by “ticking boxes” in an attempt to get over the audit process as soon as possible. This old strategy can be both ineffective and extremely risky.
While cutting corners might produce quick results, you may find yourself attaining long-term outcomes that are not sustainable. Remember that audits need to change with the business, so it’s important to develop maintainable and responsive management systems that find efficiencies throughout your operations.
- Poor Communication
Not having a proper communication system in place can hinder the effectiveness and success of the ISO auditing process. You also risk ending up with unclear, biased reports that underplay important points. As a result, it undermines the general purpose of reporting, which can lead to inaccurate representation of existing processes, making continual improvement difficult.
How Best Practice Biz Can Help
Best Practice Biz can help you avoid these common mistakes, regardless of the type of ISO standard you plan to implement, to help promote smooth audit processes. Contact us today for further information on how we can help you become ISO certified.