What is an ISO Audit?
The International Organization for Standardization is a leader in the development of standards across industries. This helps to ensure that our products and processes are safe, efficient, and sustainable. ISO certifications are available for many standards, including ISO 27001 2015 and ISO 9001 2015. An ISO audit can be a great benefit to your company. This article will provide information about ISO audits and break down the various types of audits that you may use. We also give you a guide to help you prepare for both internal and external ISO audits.
An ISO audit is a certification that your organization has met one of the international standards established by the International Organization for Standardization. ISO, a non-governmental organization, is located in Geneva, Switzerland. It develops standards and control frames to guide industry best practice in areas ranging from information security to vehicle safety. An audit is a way to measure your company’s compliance with any ISO standard. A few standards can also be ISO certified by a third-party audit.
Why is an ISO audit important?
An ISO audit is important for several reasons. It can help you determine if you are complying with ISO requirements and expose weaknesses in your organization’s operations so you can create the best risk management strategy. An ISO audit is not only a part of the initial stages of a Risk Assessment Plan but can also help you develop new systems and approach new customers. A good audit schedule will help you get ISO certification.
What Types of ISO Audits Are There?
There are four types: certification, surveillance, internal, external, and certification. Your compliance and certification goals, scope, budget, and other factors will influence the type of audit you choose.
- Internal Audits
An internal ISO audit can only be performed by an authorized auditor within your company. If ISO compliance is your goal, an audit might be a good option to ensure your company follows ISO best practices. Use an internal audit checklist and see how your company’s systems compare to ISO guidelines. In preparation for certification, surveillance, or recertification audits, internal audits are important.
- External Audits
Third-party auditors conduct external audits to evaluate an organization’s ISO compliance. There are several types of external audits. These include audits of suppliers and customers. Many ISO standards require that all members of the supply chain comply. The umbrella of “external auditor” also includes surveillance and certification audits.
- Audits for certification and recertification
Certification for ISO standards requires a special certification audit. When you apply for certification for ISO 27001, a certification agency will conduct an audit and issue a certificate valid for three years. Your organization is required to maintain the certificate’s coverage, which means that it guarantees that your company will continue to use the products, processes, and systems. You would need to keep your ISO 27001 information security management system up to date for three years.
- Surveillance Audits
After your organization achieves ISO certification, it is required to schedule surveillance audits with certification bodies at least once a year. A surveillance audit reviews the management and any actions taken to correct or mitigate nonconformities in the past. It also examines how the organization responded to internal audits.
How can ISO audits be conducted?
An ISO audit can be done remotely or onsite depending on the type of audit. The organization can conduct an internal audit as a self-audit. It can also be done remotely. Remote audits are possible for some external audits. A registrar must conduct any certification or surveillance audit onsite.
What happens during an ISO audit?
ISO audits are focused on products and processes, but the steps may differ depending on whether they are assessing a product safety or information security management system (ISMS). The auditor will inspect your systems and determine if they are compliant with the audit checklist. If you conduct an external or internal ISO audit, he/she will also assess the progress made in mitigating any non conformities.
How do I prepare for an ISO Audit?
Preparation is crucial when conducting an ISO audit. Each audit helps you prepare for the next. You can prepare for surveillance audits with internal audits. Surveillance audits will help you prepare to recertify audits.