Audits, especially those conducted to demonstrate compliance with an ISO standard, are on-site checks that include inspections and thorough examinations of your organization's systems to verify their compliance with a specific ISO standard. This is done to ensure sufficient compliance with management system requirements and to monitor and improve the efficiency of your operational processes.
Types of audit The classification of audit types is based primarily on the relationship between the participants and the examiner. ISO audits have two main types, internal and external audit.
1. Internal audit
They are carried out by internal auditors who are employed in the organization being audited, and are also known as first-party audits. They are carried out within the company in order to check the effectiveness of its own adopted procedures and check compliance with international standards and the appearance of possible deficiencies. An internal auditor usually has a working knowledge of the organization and knows "what makes your company successful". The purpose of internal audits is to dive deep into your processes and discover anything that could be non-compliance with the external auditor. During internal audits, you want to find, report, and later act on those findings to improve your organization.
Internal audits allow you to review your company and ensure compliance with laws and regulations in a more casual, lower-stakes environment. Since the internal auditor is a typical colleague, you should feel much more relaxed when he is around. The internal auditor is your friend! As with any audit, you do not want to hide information or mislead the auditor in order to make the audit go as quickly and easily as possible. They serve as a basic tool in preparation for your next external audit.
Internal audits are usually conducted at least once a year, before the arrival of the external auditor. The findings of the internal audit will not jeopardize your certification and will help you prove your compliance with the standard to the external auditor.
2. External audit
Also called a "third-party" audit, external audits are conducted by impartial auditors and can be called objective assessments of company procedures because they provide transparency and confidence to interested parties that your organization is indeed running an effective and compliant management system. Objective assessments and their feedback allow these interested parties to be better informed about your organization. An auditor will come to your company for a specified period to demonstrate compliance with the ISO standard, which will result in certification approval or approval pending corrective action.
Corrective action must be taken if the external auditor finds non-compliance in your system which will be detailed in their final meeting with you and in their report. External audits are essential if you want to have an accredited ISO certificate and are a great way to help your organization with unbiased assessment and reports, international certification and certificate recognition. Audits are a stressful period for most organizations, don't let them be for you too, so contact us and find out all the necessary information first hand.