Okay, you have your initial assessment in the rear view mirror and now it’s time for your first surveillance audit. Sometimes this is one of the harder audits to get through because the energy and momentum can decline after the ramp up for the initial assessment.
As a certification body, we expect your system will conform to the requirements of the Standard to which you are certified. This is your commitment as a certified organization. Being certified isn’t about getting into conformance, it’s about staying in conformance!
You can relax a little remembering that Platinum auditors will be practical about auditing your business operations. We don’t expect a perfect audit without nonconformities. We never search for nonconformities, but instead look for conformance. If we find nonconformities, we clearly define them so that you can easily address them. We want your audit experience to be as stress-free and comfortable as possible.
Platinum must follow the Standard, which requires us to look at some key areas every time we come and do an audit. To prepare for the audit, you should review your processes in these areas which we are required to review:
- management review,
- internal audits,
- a review of actions taken on nonconformities during the previous audit,
- complaint handling,
- the effectiveness of the management system to achieving your business objectives and the intended results of your management system,
- continued operational control,
- review of any changes and use of marks and/or other references to certification.
At recertification, we always review any audit result trends.
Common Omission: Reviewing previous audit results
Repeating nonconformances usually result in an escalation of the nonconformance from minor to major as well as an additional nonconformance being raised regarding the effectiveness of the corrective action system. However, certified clients commonly forget to revisit the previous audit results when they prepare for their certification audits. Requiring a step in your management system to review previous certification audit results and verify that corrective actions taken were effective can save you stress, client issues, money, and work.
Being vigilant can provide you with confidence in your corrective action system so you don’t have to worry about recurring nonconformities and the impact they may have on your business.