An audit consultant is responsible for providing assistance with basic operational and financial audits, internal control reviews and consulting projects. The biggest advantage of hiring ISO 9001 consultant is that they prepare your organisation for the external audit, helping you clear your certification audit on your first attempt. In this article, we will talk about the ISO 9001 audit and the role of an ISO 9001 auditing consultant.
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What is ISO 9001; Quality Management System
ISO 9001 is a collection of policies, processes and procedures that helps organisations build a strong and sustainable Quality Management System (QMS). A QMS lays out specific work instructions to help organisations achieve consistency in the delivery of the quality of their products or services and meet customer expectations. As a consequence of the clear work instructions and lean process maps, organisations can enjoy benefits such as better employee productivity, customer loyalty, enhanced brand efficiency, higher ISO 9001 certification cost savings and lesser wastage.
ISO 9001 certification process; Adhere to the recommendations
To acquire the certificate, an organisation needs to implement a management system based on the recommendations of the standard, going on to monitor it for the next few months. During the monitoring, the organisation needs to determine if the QMS is functioning as intended and modify any issues or non-conformances that arise. Internal reviews should be conducted to determine the status of the non-conformances before applying for an external audit. During the external audit, the management system and the documentation of the organisation are presented in front of an impartial auditor that measures the compliance status. Certification is only granted to those organisations that adhere to the recommendations of the ISO 9001 certification standard.
ISO 9001 audit; internal and external audits
Although there are two types of audits related to ISO 9001, namely the internal and the external audit, the term ISO 9001 usually refers to the external audit. The company itself conducts the internal audit, and the aim is to prepare for the upcoming external audit.
The external audit is conducted by an accredited certification body and typically occurs in two phases. In the first phase, the documentation of the organisation is evaluated for relevancy, accuracy and compliance. As this phase focuses on documents and records, it is generally referred to as the “desktop review.”
The second phase of the audit is “on-site,” and here, the auditor evaluates your processes in person. The auditor will observe how your processes are functioning and check them against
the documents for consistency. Additionally, the auditor will gauge the knowledge base of your employees regarding quality management by interviewing process owners and other individuals who interact with the QMS.
At the end of these two phases, the auditor creates a report that summarises the findings of the evaluation and provides a list of recommendations. If major non-conformances are found that could potentially lead to a QMS failure, the organisation is not granted the certificate. Instead, the organisation is given a time frame to modify its processes and apply the recommended corrective actions. If no non-conformances are found, the organisation is granted a certificate of compliance.
What do ISO 9001 auditing consultants do in Australia?
Hiring an ISO audit consultant will help you prepare for the upcoming external audit. Unlike an ISO consultant who specialises in implementing the QMS, their expertise lies in the auditing techniques that are utilised by the lead auditors of the third-party certification body.
One of the greatest challenges to clearing the external audit is preparing the list of mandatory documents required by ISO 9001:2015. Examples of mandatory documents and records include the scope of the QMS, quality policy and quality objectives. The ISO 9001 audit consultant will review your documents to ensure that they adhere to the compliance requirements.
The audit consultant will help you prepare the documents required for the ISO audit, including records of training, skills, experience and qualifications as per clause 7.2. Similarly, as per clause 8.2, the audit consultant will help you maintain your product/service requirements review records and records about design and development outputs review.
The audit consultant will also evaluate if you are adequately prepared for the upcoming audit by ensuring that information and the results of previous audits have been addressed. Additionally, they will check the validity of the system by ensuring that it incorporates customer feedback by going through the requirements of process performance and product conformity. The auditor will also check the status of corrective and preventive actions in addition to evaluating how the follow-up actions from previous management reviews have been addressed and documented.
Remember, an ISO consultant will be able to point out flaws in your quality management system that could be an obstacle in your certification process and suggest corrective activities. In contrast, an ISO 9001 audit consultant will review your documents and the communication skills of your people to point out flaws that could be an obstacle in your audit. Depending upon where you stand in your preparation, you can choose an ISO consultant or an ISO audit consultant. Alternatively, you could hire a service that provides both.
Edara Systems will help you with auditing ISO certification
ISO 9001 auditing consultants will help you prepare for your upcoming external audit by reviewing your documents and preparing your key personnel to face the auditor. If you are about to improve your company by obtaining ISO certification, you can count on Edara Systems expert consultants. They will guide you on the path to acquiring the ISO certification and its auditing process. To contact us you can visit edarasystems.com website.