Internal audits are an important part of maintaining your ISO 9001 certification. Some companies dread the process, because they think it is redundant and that it will disrupt what they need to do to run their businesses. In reality, an ISO 9001 internal audit is an incredibly useful process that helps you understand what your business is doing right and where there are areas for improvement, so you can be confident that you’re always giving your customers your best. If you are facing an ISO 9001 internal audit and aren’t sure where to begin, this advice will help.
Create an Audit Schedule
Surprise audits are not a good strategy for most companies, as they tell employees that they are not trusted. Instead, create a yearly audit schedule, so everyone knows exactly what to expect at each audit stage. Making the audit schedule available to everyone will also let employees properly plan their improvement projects, so that the changes they want to make are in place when the audit occurs.
Strategize Information Gathering
Auditors need robust data and information from teams about specific processes that are addressed in the QMS, or quality management system, that is associated with the ISO 9001 implementation. This information gathering doesn’t have to be stressful. Once you have your audit schedule, strategize about how and when information will be gathered and submitted. This will prevent last-minute rushing that disrupts other operations and that could lead to data omissions.
Schedule Audit Report Meetings
Each audit should be easier than the last, as long as you shared the detailed audit report, so that everyone understands where there are areas for improvement, as well as areas that are working well. Focusing on the things highlighted in this audit report, and involving the entire team in the process, will allow your company to plan for improvements that will show up in the next audit.
Trident QMS is here to support you through certification, support, and internal audits for ISO 9001 certification. Learn more about how we can help with a free consultation. For more information, call (520) 314-4344.