Having an ISO 9001 audit can cause stress and annoyance for a lot of companies, but it doesn’t have to. In reality, with some planning and ongoing management, your ISO 9001 audit can be a worthwhile process that confirms your company’s conformity to the requirements of ISO 9001 and ensures your processes are working as expected. Turn your ISO 9001 audit into a productive process with these suggestions.
Plan Your Audits
Internal audits are one of the most valuable tools in your arsenal for maintaining your certification standards and identifying any issues before an outside auditor finds them. Rather than springing internal audits on employees, which makes your team feel untrusted, have regular internal audits on your schedule. Understanding that internal audits are part of how you run your business will engage everyone in maintaining high standards on an ongoing basis. Be thorough when you perform internal audits, and where there are areas for improvement, make a reliable plan for addressing them.
A Means to Monitor Objectives
Part of your certification involves setting and working towards specific objectives. During an external ISO audit, the auditor will know about your progress towards those objectives and how you’re keeping track of your efforts. If you have a system in place for regularly monitoring your objectives and reporting on your processes, you will have that information immediately available to the auditor and be ready to discuss it in detail.
Review the Audit
When your audit is complete, do a post-mortem of the process with your team. Because auditors interview employees, team members at every level of your organization are likely to have interacted with the auditor and can provide unique perspectives on the process. Assessing your audit will help you identify new areas you want to focus on and things you want to adjust for your next internal audit. The analysis and evaluation of your internal audit will also demonstrate conformity to the ISO 9001 requirements.
At Trident Quality Management Solutions (QMS), we’re here to support you throughout the certification and audit process. We work with companies in a wide variety of industries, and we tailor our support to your specific needs. Talk to a Trident QMS consultant today by calling (520) 314-4344.