An external audit is necessary for companies who wish to become ISO or NEN certified. The audit is the final step when looking to become certified and therefore an important stage. Independent auditors will determine if an organisation meets the necessary requirements.
Since audits can be tough, it is important to know how to prepare for an external audit.
Tell your staff that an audit is being conducted. It’s best to provide details on when the auditors will be visiting and where they are expected to be during this time. This keeps employees informed about what is going on. However, make sure that work isn’t being affected and that schedules continue as normal.
Prepare yourself well before the auditors arrive. Sometimes it can even be helpful to conduct an internal audit. This can help identify any areas that may need to be improved before the external audit takes place. You can hire experts who will provide an objective assessment and check that your organisation meets the required guidelines and criteria. While performing an internal audit can be intimidating, remember that many companies have successfully passed similar investigations and proceedings and that there are plenty of resources that can guide you through the process.
Employees who are specialised in relevant fields can help make things easier. In order to prepare, the experts within your company should be kept informed and up to date.
Remember that an ISO audit can help you determine which areas you could improve and can also lead you to investigate why you may not have met certain standards. An audit will help you understand your organisation better and can shape your ideas about changes you may need to make. Becoming ISO certified is not only meant to occur once but should be a continual process that will lead to further improvements over time.
Unfortunately, this can be a nerve-racking time and cause you and your co-workers stress and anxiety. If you yourself are stressed, trying to not let your employees feel your worries can be hard but worth it in the end. Learning from the certification process that other companies went through can also be helpful and make the final external audit a success.
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