3 Tips for Preparing Your Team For a Certification Body Audit
Undergoing a certification body audit can be an intimidating experience. Organizations work hard over several months to plan, prepare and implement a Quality, Health, Safety or Environmental Management System. They are often confident in their management system, but what about their employees? In this article, we will provide 3 tips for preparing your team to undergo a certification body audit.
1. Demonstrate Leadership
The first step to preparing your team to undergo a certification body audit, is making sure Top Management has a clear understanding of the certification audit process. “A leader needs to be knowledgeable, and be able to provide direction in the preparation of the team,” states Oscar Combs, Senior Consultant of The ISO 9001 Group. Becoming well-informed on the certification audit process, will make leading your team much smoother. You will be able to provide needed support, and answer questions.
2. Educate Your Team on the Certification Body Audit Process
Inform your team the certification body is there to ensure your organization’s system conforms to an international standard. “For The ISO 9001 Group, our employees stuck to our system.” stressed Oscar Combs. “We made sure to focus on the ISO 9001:2015 standard, and how it fits our organization, not the certification body.” Remind employees that the auditor is there to assist your organization, by providing recommendations to drive continual improvement of your system. Consider sharing our webinar, “How to Pass Your Certification Body Audit”, with your employees as an additional resource. Our presentation provides an excellent overview of the purpose of the certification audit, beyond achieving certification, and important Dos and Don’ts during the certification audit. When team members know what to expect, it can relieve some of the stress they might be experiencing.
3. Communicate Clear Expectations of their Role
Ensure team members are aware of their possible participation in the audit. It is important to make sure that employees are knowledgeable on your organization’s key policies and procedures. They will not have to be memorized, but they may be asked to explain a policy in their own words, or how a procedure is used in their day-to-day operations. Assure your team that they should not stress over the audit; and they should continue operations as usual in your facility. Above all, let your team know that they are to answer the auditor’s questions honestly. There is no need for embellishment.
By providing leadership, educating your team on the auditing process and communicating expectations your employees can be confident to take on the certification body audit.
Victoria Ontiveros | Project & Office Coordinator
Victoria earned her BS from Texas A&M University with an emphasis in communications. She oversees office operations and is the first point of contact for all new and existing clients, which means that she is responsible for ensuring that an excellent level of client service is maintained. She provides marketing and administrative support to ensure that office operations run smoothly and efficiently. Above all, Victoria is committed to providing the best experience for The ISO 9001 Group’s clients.