ISO audits are an important part of any ISO certified business. They ensure that your company is continuously compliant with international standards and is doing everything it can to protect its customers. But how often do ISO audits happen, and what happens during one?
How Often Do They Happen?
ISO audits happen every year. However, the frequency of audits can vary depending on the size of your company and the industry you are in. For example, companies that are required or expected to have an ISO certification may be audited more often than companies that are not.
What to Expect During An ISO Audit
An ISO audit is a comprehensive review of your company’s compliance with international standards. During an audit, you can expect the following:
- A team of auditors will arrive at your company and introduce themselves.
- The auditors will want to see your company’s documentation, including your quality manual, procedures, and records.
- The auditors will interview your employees to get a better understanding of your company’s processes.
- Next, the auditors will observe your company’s operations to see how they align with your documented procedures.
- At the end of the audit, the auditors will debrief you on their findings and give you a list of recommendations for improvement. If you meet all the requirements, you will receive a certificate of compliance.
Tips On How Prepare For An Audit
An ISO audit can be a daunting experience, but there are some things you can do to make the process go smoothly:
- Familiarise yourself with the ISO standards that apply to your company. There are many resources available online, including articles, blog posts, and even video tutorials. Taking the time to learn about the audit process will help you feel more prepared and confident when the time comes.
- Next, ensure all your company’s documentation is up to date and compliant with international standards.
- Make sure your employees are familiar with your company’s procedures and know what to expect during an audit.
- Conduct an internal audit. During this audit, observe your company’s operations yourself to identify any areas of improvement.
- Create a plan for how you will address any recommendations from the audit team.
- Implement changes in your company’s procedures as soon as possible before the real audit.
Bonus tip: If possible, hire an ISO consultant. Here’s what a consultant can do:
- Help you understand the audit process and what to expect.
- Review your company’s documentation and identify any areas of improvement.
- Train your employees on how to comply with ISO requirements and communicate with auditors effectively.
- Observe your company’s operations and provide feedback.
- Develop a plan for addressing any recommendations from the audit team.
When hiring a consultant, be sure to check their credentials and experience. Also, make sure they are familiar with your company’s specific industry. It’s also advisable to contact their previous clients to find out what they think about the consultant. Ask them about their experience working with the consultant and if they would recommend them.
Audits can be daunting, but they are an important part of maintaining a high level of quality in your company. By understanding what to expect during an audit, you can make the process go smoother for everyone involved.
We Are Here to Help!
Are you interested in learning more about ISO audits, ISO certification or a specific ISO standard such as ISO 9001, 14001, 27001, 45001 or 55001? Best Practice can help! Our team of experts are familiar with the audit process and can help you prepare for your next audit.