6 Tips to prepare for an ISO certification audit – your checklist

Navigate your ISO certification audit smoothly with our concise checklist, covering key preparation steps for standards like ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO 45001. Explore our expert tips on gap analysis, staff training, and audit preparation to ensure success.
6 Tips to prepare for an ISO certification audit – your checklist

You’re an architecture company and you’re hoping that achieving ISO 9001 certification which might contribute toward higher customer satisfaction and streamline your business’s processes.

Perhaps you’re a manufacturer hoping that achieving ISO 14001 certification will mean you can demonstrate environmental commitment and keep up with legislation, minimise expenses, or perhaps improve your reputation around pollution.

Or maybe you’re a construction company chain and you could use ISO 45001 certification to mitigate safety risks and demonstrate dedication to preventing work-related illnesses, injuries and death to minimise the risk of an expensive class action lawsuit.

Regardless of the ISO standard you hope to be certified for, you’ll be undertaking an external audit towards ISO certification at some point.

The job of a Citation Certification auditor is to ensure your documentation meets the requirements of the standard. They’ll make sure all procedures and processes are followed correctly.

The outcome of the audit? The auditor will recommend you be granted your certification or will instead ask for corrective actions before you can be accredited.

So, what can you expect when your business is going through the certification process? The experts at Citation Certification have complied some tips to prepare for a successful ISO certification audit.

Let’s get started.


1. Read the requirements and become familiar with them

Familiarise yourself with the requirements of the standard you are pursuing. Read through the relevant ISO standard to ensure you understand each section, then start creating your checklist of what you believe you need to do to once you have a good understanding of the requirements.


2. Use one of our gap analysis checklists to identify your targets and goals

For standards such as ISO 45001 – Occupational Health and Safety Management, certification can take months. This is because once your goals are identified, you’ll have to conduct a gap analysis and mitigate what isn’t quite there yet. Don’t worry, the auditor is on your side and wants you to be the best you can be, by setting the gauntlet high. Citation Certification can provide gap analysis checklists for you during the process.


3. Train your staff on internal audit and the standard requirements

Preparing for an ISO audit is a whole team approach. So your business can achieve the best outcome, it’s a good idea to communicate with your people about the benefits certification will bring to your business and then train your team in the requirements of the management system.


4. We’ll give you an audit plan

To help the audit go smoothly, your auditor will give you a schedule. A schedule will give your business time to compensate for unforeseen delays, plus a schedule should help you match the documents and evidence with what the auditor needs and when.


5. Prepare for audit

Conducting an internal audit will help identify any gaps in your management system and will give you a chance to fix any issues before your audit happens.

  • Try to see your organisation from an outsider’s perspective, objectively.
  • Follow a set process and document everything systematically.
  • Be sure you’re working with accurate data and information and always be honest and transparent if asked for further information during the audit – you don’t want to delay the process.

An internal audit will demonstrate to your auditor that your organisation is serious about complying with the ISO standard and will also help you speak the auditor’s language.


6. When audit day comes, so long as you have followed the above steps, you stand a reasonable chance of achieving certification

Done all the preparation? Great. You can relax now and let Citation Certification’s expert auditor go through their processes.

Is your business ready for certification?

Find out today by downloading our self-audit checklist here. With over 25 years of experience in providing accredited ISO certifications, we can help you achieve the best business outcomes through continual improvement. For more information about our services, get in touch with the team today!


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