ISO Audits: Key Types and How They Differ

Interested in achieving ISO certification or enhancing the quality and effectiveness of your management systems?

By conducting audits that are relevant to their circumstances and organisational goals, businesses can dramatically improve their processes and serve customers better.

In essence, an audit is a thorough evaluation of a business’ existing operations, providing organisations with invaluable insights into just how effective their current systems are. By assessing their findings, companies can pinpoint any discrepancies or gaps between where they are at a point in time vs. where, ideally, they would like to be in terms of compliance.

Beyond offering immense value to your business’ continued development, auditing can also provide stakeholders with assurance that you’re committed to maintaining a certain quality standard. This can, in turn, assist your business in establishing a strong reputation and market presence.

In what has become an incredibly volatile landscape, being perceived as a dependable, trusted product or service provider is priceless.

There are, of course, various types of audits that a company may choose to complete, with each being better suited to different situations. In the following article, we’ll be comparing and contrasting three key kinds of audits:

Can Internal Staff Members Conduct Audits?

If an organisation’s employees have access to the required resources and information, they may choose to conduct certain audits themselves. However, for those considering taking this approach, it’s important to note that staff members need to be formally trained in auditing and can’t audit processes that they’re involved in.

So, if organisations can complete audits internally, why do so many decide to outsource this service?

While, in some cases, seeking external assistance from a consultant may mean a company incurs more upfront costs, in the long-term, they’ll likely achieve far more maintainable, quality outcomes. There are numerous reasons why this is the case, including:

  • Employees can stay fully committed to their day-to-day responsibilities, rather than having to manage the auditing process, which can be complex and time-consuming. This means that, while a dedicated consultant completes a thorough, efficient assessment of your systems, your business’ core operations won’t have to suffer and audits will be performed regularly and reliably..
  • As an external party, your consultant can provide you with an unbiased, fresh perspective on how your processes can be improved. They’re not involved on a daily basis with your business’ operations and, because of this, can provide valuable insights regarding gaps that may have otherwise been overlooked.
  • To effectively implement any required changes, businesses need to develop a realistic and practical plan of action. An auditing professional can provide you with expert guidance in doing this, helping you establish clear direction for the weeks and months to come.

Which Type of Auditing is Best-Suited to Your Needs?

The type of auditing that your organisation conducts will, ultimately, be determined by your unique set of objectives.

What do you want to get out of your audit? Taking the time to clearly define your desired outcome/s is essential, as this will assist your business in selecting the most appropriate approach for you.

1. Compliance Audit: a time and cost-effective alternative to an ISO certification audit. Compliance audits are completed by a registered lead auditor, who identifies any discrepancies between your existing systems and ISO standard guidelines. Once an organisation has addressed any gaps, they’re awarded a certificate of compliance. It is, however, important to note that this is not the same as receiving accredited certification.

 2. ISO Internal Audit: for an organisation to successfully achieve ISO certification with a given standard, they must first complete an ISO internal audit. During this process, an ISO consultant will assess how fully you comply with the requirements of the standard you wish to become accredited in. This assists you in pinpointing any opportunities or specific areas that need improvement. ISO consultants can also work with you to amend your system to incorporate the improvements identified.

When conducting ISO internal audits, our team work with a diverse selection of standards, including:

 3. ISO Supplier Audit: when it comes to satisfying your compliance obligations, your organisation may benefit immensely from examining the quality of your suppliers and their operations. In situations where a supplier’s activities are of high-risk or key to your business’ ongoing success, this becomes especially important. This introduces a greater level of accountability throughout your supply chain, while also assuring your company that suppliers are meeting their quality requirements.

This article provides a brief overview of three auditing options available to your business. If you don’t see what you’re after or would like more in-depth information, see our audits overview, which details the various types of audits our team specialise in.

Get Expert Guidance Today

Interested in finding out how your business could benefit from conducting a compliance audit, ISO supplier audit or ISO internal audit? Our consultants are available across Australia, offering expert auditing guidance you can rely on.

Get one step closer to reaching your organisation’s compliance objectives by contacting our team on 1300 132 745.

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