How to optimize the key internal audit steps for ISO 9001 certification
Obtaining and maintaining important credentials becomes easier by adopting the right tools and practices
To achieve a certification is never easy, but today it can be much easier. Even more challenging is maintaining and renewing the certificates that distinguish the company and are part of its mission and message to consumers. However, even this aspect is infinitely cheaper and easier to achieve in our times. How?
By using technology!
Digitalize audit processes with software and applications tailored to your company’s specific needs, obtaining and renewing certificates will be infinitely simpler and less expensive.
Audits are the control tool used to verify operations, processes and products. Having an efficient Quality Management System, known as a QMS, is, for example, a prerequisite for access to one of the most sought-after certifications for companies: ISO9001.
Criteria for obtaining ISO 9001 certification
ISO 9001 is an international certification that attests the conformity of a QMS to the requirements dictated by the standard. The process of obtaining it is managed by an accredited body and involves these five steps:
- Application for certification
- First audit
- Resolution on issue of the certificate
- Surveillance audit
- Renewal audit
It is easy to note that the word ‘Audit’ appears in three out of five steps to understand the importance of inspections, digital checklists and automatic detection of non-conformities in order to be awarded ISO 9001 certification.
The 7 principles of ISO 9001
This coveted corporate title is so because it demonstrates to consumers, and to all corporate stakeholders, that the company has systems in place to observe, analyse and control the quality levels of its business processes and the products or services it delivers.
ISO is an acronym that stands for International Organisation for Standardisation, the worldwide organization responsible for defining so-called technical standards, also known as ISO standards.
As of 2015, the ISO 9001 standard is based on seven principles for defining quality:
- Customer focus
- Engagement of people
- Process approach
- Continuous improvement
- Evidence-based decision-making
- Relationship management
During the process, the certifying body is therefore required to consider all these elements before making a judgment on the company’s eligibility.
The company’s ability to arrive prepared at the fateful moment of the certifier’s external audit inevitably depends on the quality of internal controls and continuous monitoring of compliance with ISO standards.
How to simplify internal audits to get certification
It is now universally recognised that the best way to conduct continuous, accurate and virtually foolproof inspections and audits is to use a digital solution for auditing and conformity assessment.
A tool such as Audit Manager can be easily set up to monitor compliance with ISO standards and alert you promptly in the event of problems or findings of non-compliance.
The computational power of integrated analysis tools and predictive algorithmic components are able to provide a reasoned computational analysis of a large amount of data, providing not only timely reports on the past and present, but also on the future of the company.
The immediate and enriched sharing of multimedia files makes communication smoother and intensifies the relationship and collaboration between all company stakeholders. Digital audits and inspections not only eliminate dreadful excel sheets and flood meetings based on erroneous data or practices, but also have a positive impact on all aspects assessed by the ISO standard and beyond.
Furthermore, an application that can digitalize and dematerialize large amounts of paper, eliminating it from your processes, makes your audits not only more sustainable, but also more efficient, giving you the ability to optimize resources, activities and focus operational decisions.
A digital solution makes you do better, faster and cheaper what you already do and what you need to do if you want to obtain and maintain prestigious certifications.
Many of our clients hold international certificates of quality, sustainability and excellence, and we can say that part of the credit for those awards, which make the companies that obtain them justifiably proud, is also ours and Audit Manager’s.
Want to understand how we can help your company obtain or maintain one or more certifications? Talk to our sales team.