How To Conduct An ISO Certification Internal Audit?
December 03, 2022
ISO audit is carried out to assess whether an organization’s policies and process are inline with the ISO standard it aims to achieve. ISO standards have a set of clearly defined guidelines that organizations need to comply with in order to attain the certification. Both internal and external audits are conducted at least once per year during an audit cycle. If you plan to carry out an ISO internal audit but aren’t sure how to go about it then the information shared here should come handy.
The Need to Conduct Internal Audit
Before we tell you about the extensive procedure to conduct ISO certification internal audit, let us brief you about its purpose. ISO internal audit is conducted independently by an organization. Its purpose is to evaluate whether it is on the right path to attain ISO certification. During the internal audit process, the business practices of the organization are monitored and assessed closely. This close watch helps in identifying how effectively the organization has been able to implement the ISO guidelines. Any deviation from the same can then be rectified to increase the chances of qualifying in the external audit.
There is a dire need for companies to conduct regular internal audits and address the issues at hand. These audits provide a fair idea about how well they are progressing and how far they are from achieving ISO certification in Pune or elsewhere. This ultimately helps businesses strengthen and flourish. Internal audits can be conducted by the company employees or with the help of an ISO consultant in Bangalore.
The Five Step Procedure to Conduct Internal Audit
To help you understand the internal audit process easily, we have divided it into five steps. Read through to learn about each of these steps.
1. Plan the Audit Schedule
The first step in the process is to create an audit schedule and share it with all your employees. This will give them an idea about when their department will be audited. So, they will prepare accordingly. Many management officials conduct surprise internal audits believing it will give a better picture about the practices being followed across departments. However, we do not recommend it. Imagine an external auditor paying a visit randomly to conduct an ISO audit. Would you be able to give your best shot? We doubt! Then why do this with your employees? It is important to give them sufficient time to prepare.
2. Plan the Process Audit
While planning process audits it is important for the auditor to plan the nitty-gritty’s of conducting the audit with the process head. Before beginning with fresh audits, the auditor must check if any previous feedback or concerns are left unaddressed. If so, he must question the same from the process owner. He may even lend help to improvise as per the ISO guidelines. An effective process audit plan can be helpful for the process owner.
3. Conduct the Audit
Auditors must get in touch with the process heads to know if their audit plan is ready. The audit must be conducted thereafter. During the process the auditor requires collating information by reviewing the available data, talking to the employing and monitoring the processes.
4. Generate the Audit Report
The information collated while conducting the audit should then be analysed to see whether it meets the ISO standards. A detailed report must be generated highlighting the performance on various parameters.
The areas of improvement should then be communicated to the process owners. It is suggested to give a timeline to make the required changes. This is a crucial part as working on the loopholes is essential to qualify in the external audit.
5. Follow-up on the Areas of Improvement
Conducting internal audits and giving the feedback to the process heads is only half the job done. Following up with them to check whether the required changes are being done or not is equally important. The process owners must make efforts to take corrective actions to improvise the processes and meet the ISO standards. Auditor must keep an eye on the steps being followed to bring about the required change. The need for any further improvement must be communicated and follow up must be done for that too.
This makes it clear why ISO certification internal audits are crucial for organizations. Although conducting this audit does not provide ISO certification in Mumbai, it increases the chances of achieving the same. Internal audit is a stepwise process that must be conducted diligently. The first step in the process is planning a schedule to conduct the audit and informing various departments in the organization about the same. The next step is to get in touch with the department heads in order to move ahead with the audit. It is then time to carry out the audit. The process involves gathering information from various sources and analyzing it. After conducting the audit, the auditors ought to generate detailed reports and share them with the process heads to help them understand the areas of improvement. Lastly, they must follow up on the issues and ensure they are being worked upon.