If you are looking forward to an ISO 9001 certification audit, you might wonder what to expect during the auditing process. This post will offer guidance on preparing for the ISO 9001 audit process, including what to expect from the external auditor ahead of the certification.
What Is ISO 9001?
ISO 9001 is an ISO standard that focuses on an organisation’s quality management systems. The most recent version of the standard is ISO 9001:2015. The certification is issued to an entire organisation.
The standard applies to businesses in all industries. The standard offers a systematic way of ensuring your organisation meets its quality objectives while allowing you to review and document processes, systems, and procedures related to product quality.
The first question most people ask is whether they can conduct the ISO quality audit internally. Although you can conduct an internal audit, you cannot use your internal ISO 9001 to obtain an ISO certification. Your ISO 9001 audit should be handled by an external certification body.
The ISO 9001 Process
The process begins with an opening meeting where an auditor informs you about what to expect during the audit. They then perform an audit of procedures using an ISO 9001 audit checklist.
After the audit, a closing meeting is held to review the details of the audit report. This involves reviewing corrective action processes to help you achieve quality objectives and maintain or obtain an ISO 9001 certificate, depending on whether you were previously certified.
How to Prepare For ISO 9001 Audit
You can take several steps to prepare for the ISO 9001 audit process. Here are four tips we recommend:
- Conduct Internal Audits Regularly- Regular internal audits allow you to achieve corrective actions and continual improvement and will allow you to streamline your organisation’s quality management system as you prepare for ISO 9001 certification. The more thorough the audit is, the higher the chances of obtaining and maintaining your ISO 9001 certification. For this reason, it is essential to have an internal audit checklist.
- Review the Quality management system with your management team – Once everyone understands ISO 9001 requirements, they can implement corrective actions and ensure your organisation’s processes meet the requirements.
- Monitor Objectives – The external auditors will check whether you meet objectives and track your progress over time. Remember to adjust objectives depending on business demands. For instance, you can lower sales objectives to accommodate a changing economic environment.
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