When it comes to having a successful ISO audit, one of the key things any business owner needs to do is understand what an ISO auditor is looking for. By appreciating their background and the key motivations behind their work, you’ll be able to showcase all of these aspects in your upcoming ISO audit.
Let’s take a look at what you can expect when working with an ISO inspector in the near future.
One thing to keep in mind about ISO auditing standards is that the International Organization for Standardization develops these standards, but they don’t offer any form of certification for businesses. Instead, you’ll use a third-party ISO auditor from one of the accredited bodies, who will perform this audit and issue certifications to your company.
How are ISO Auditors Certified?
The ISO auditor certification process will fall under another independent organization, but this will vary depending on where in the world you are based. This process verifies that the certification bodies will meet international standards.
The majority of the top certification bodies will have accreditation, so that’s something to always look out for when booking an ISO process audit or considering how to become an ISO auditor.
An ISO quality audit will involve a third party evaluating the effectiveness of the processes within an organization. They compare your plans and output to analyze how successfully they match. The focus, therefore, is on that you are doing what you say you are doing, which is something any business should be keeping in mind in their daily operations.
The Key Focus Areas for an ISO Auditor
With the limited time an ISO auditor has, keep in mind that they can’t look at everything in one visit. For that reason, they keep key indicators in mind at all times, which will reflect the processes within the whole organization. When these indicators are optimized before your ISO audit, you’ll find that you have the best chance of showcasing your quality management system. These are the main things we encourage you to focus on when it comes to ISO auditing.
Access and Distribution of Information
While every company should document their processes in some way, many companies fail to showcase their methods for this to an ISO 9001 lead auditor. Auditors want companies to show that finding or using information is a quick process, so make sure you have a simple document management system in place. Remember, an ISO auditor will speak to a range of your employees, so make sure everyone knows how to access any critical information they may need.
Keeping Yourself Accountable for Quality Policies
While it’s great to have written quality policies in place, you’ll need to ensure the business will hold itself accountable for these in the future. SOPs, operational procedures, and internal audits all work together to showcase this to an ISO auditor. You’ll want to show that your team follows these procedures and logs their activity and data before it’s signed off by a leader.
In order to engage with the processes fully, you’ll need to showcase that your business is constantly looking to improve processes. Employees need to be able to offer feedback and see this implemented within the organization. Create a standard practice for sharing feedback in the place where the work occurs in your business.
Business Roles and Responsibilities
To meet the ISO auditing standard, you also need to consider how each individual fits into the goals of the business. By taking individual ownership, improvement can constantly be made throughout the organization. To showcase this during an ISO audit, make sure you use QMS software that connects everyone. Your employees may be asked to share their knowledge on this, so make sure they are confident to do this.
As you can see, there’s more to an ISO audit than meets the eye. By putting yourself in the auditor’s shoes ahead of your next ISO audit, you’ll be prepared to update your certification.
Make sure you keep on top of the new standards and that everyone in your organization will be confident in showcasing their knowledge to the auditor.
For more assistance before your next ISO audit, contact our team today. We’ll be happy to support you with digitizing your QMS and audits while also providing you with tools for training and competence management.