When you have an audit for certification conducted, your company has usually already made tremendous progress. The certification of a quality management system forms the ultimate recognition of the implementation process. During the audit for certification, an independent party determines whether you meet all the requirements of the quality management system.
Implementing a quality management system includes an extensive implementation process. You systematically compare the standards of the quality system with the existing procedures and processes. An adjustment has to be implemented if your current work method is non-compliant.
Ownership of Quality
When implementing a quality management system, it is extremely important to place the final responsibility for each improvement measure at the correct department. This is the only way to get a mature quality management system that is supported by the entire organisation. The quality department coordinates the project, monitors the progress and makes agreements on the deadlines with every department.
Plan, Do, Check, Act
In parallel to the implementation of the quality management system, you commence a permanent cycle of continuous improvement. It is important that the processes and procedures are evaluated constantly and adjusted insofar needed. For this purpose, you need a system of data gathering and analysis. This continuous improvement cycle always follows the steps of Plan, Do, Check and Act.
First internal audit
Once the implementation of the quality management system is completed, you can first have an external internal audit conducted. This audit is not yet intended for certification but it does provide you with an independent and objective picture on the current situation. When this internal audit is conducted correctly with a focus on maximum added value, you will be given points of improvement you can use to start again.
Ready for the official audit
After this process, you are essentially ready for the official certification audit. It is of course important for you to be ensured that all employees are well prepared as the auditor will have several conversations within the company. Furthermore, it is best to keep in mind that you must submit the required papers as evidence for everything. It does not count what you are able to tell the auditor, but it does count what you are able to show as documentation.
Would you like to know more about the process of an internal audit or a certification audit? Feel free to contact us with all your questions.