If you are looking to achieve ISO accreditation to help improve your business, then you’ll most likely need an internal audit. An audit covers all the processes across the business to ensure you are following them as you should, and so that you are complaint with ISO standards.
To help you understand what is involved in an ISO audit, we have put together a simple step-by-step guide.
Step one – Initial meeting
An initial meeting will be set up between you and your auditor to understand your business. During this meeting you will discuss the different ways for the audit plan to be carried out – either ‘clause based’ relating to clauses in the ISO standards or ‘process based’ where the auditor sees what you are doing to make sure you are compliant. It is up to you which you prefer to use, however in this blog we focus more on the process approach which can give you greater transparency and significant gains in efficiency across your business.
Step two – Setting up processes
In the lift industry there are around 20 different processes which you will need to set up. These include an ‘Emergency call out procedure’, ‘Planning installs/Modernisation procedure’, ‘Delivering maintenance procedure’ and ‘Aspects and impacts procedure’. Each process will need its own flow chart to outline how your business will conduct each one. Your auditor will work closely with you to establish the best process for each to ensure it is tailored to your business. This will also include assigning job descriptions, roles and responsibilities.
Step three – The trial period
Once the processes and flow charts have been documented, they will be passed over to management to review and conduct a trial. Enough time will be allocated to ensure staff understand the procedures.
Step four – Review
Following the trial your auditor will come to review each process (not necessarily at the same time) looking at relevant documentation for each agreed procedure. They will want to see that you are following each procedure and proving what you say are you doing following the ‘plan, do, check and act’ cycle. The results of this will be documented and graded from unsatisfactory to excellent.
Step five – Sign off
All being well, the audit will be signed off by your auditor. The findings from the review will also be provided on an action plan that tracks the performance of your business including identifying any risks, completion dates, areas of non-compliance and what you’ve done to fix any issues. This will give you everything you need to manage your business processes.
Internal audits will need to be carried out annually to ensure you maintain compliant with ISO standards and to provide an opportunity to update the way any processes are carried out if required.
Here at Elevating Safety Solutions, we conduct internal audits working closely with you to ensure the processes are right for your business and the relevant action is taken to help you achieve ISO accreditation. We can also sign off on the declaration of conformity. Find out more and get in touch with our team here.
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