Companies should prepare for an ISO audit by considering questions that could potentially harm your business.
Companies periodically conduct audits to determine if employees are following the quality assurance guidelines. This is one of the most important tools to protect your business from legal repercussions and lost revenue, not to mention it is required under the International Standards Organization (ISO) guidelines.
For many businesses – particularly those who have just recently implemented a QA policy, determine what questions to ask is not always easy nor obvious. Here are six questions you should ask during the ISO 9001 audit.
What Are The Company’s Internal And External Success Factors?
This is the starting point for any internal quality audit. These questions determine whether the implement system works or whether the employees are following guidelines. Target these type questions towards the management. Some managers use the SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) to help identify internal and external success.
What Are The Stakeholder’s Requirements?
Once you’ve determined your success rate, focus on the requirements laid out by interested parties. These include shareholders, debt owners, employees, and consumers. Create a checklist of items you want to evaluate and incorporate them into shorter checkmarks. Just keep in mind to distinguish between actual, non-negotiable requirements and important recommendations.
How Has The Company Resolved Identified Risks And Improved Opportunities?
Risks and opportunities are the foundation of ISO 9001:2015. More than ten sections focus on external success. This also is the most basic evaluation for any audit. Look at the problems you noticed in last year’s audit. Do they still exist? Have they educed at all? These answers will help develop further plans to maximize external resources.
Did The Company’s QA Plan Achieve Its Objectives?
Measurable quality objectives are another strong element of ISO 9001. During the last audit or when the QA program was first implemented, you probably made short and long-term goals. Use those goals as a comparison for what the company’s quality was and whether it’s improved. Review your overall quality program and determine whether it aligns with the required guidelines.
Are The Organization’s Business Processes Aligned With The QMS?
This question helps you determine whether you are using ISO 9001:2015 to help you run the company. Asking your top management this reveals the most important factor – whether the QMS has improved the business. ISO 9001 is moving beyond making sure products or services meet requirements. The new standards focus on managing every aspect of the business.
How Does The Company Capture And Use Knowledge?
The ISO wants business leaders to learn from both their good and bad experiences. Gather information from project debriefs, staff meetings, consumer reviews, etc. Track this information using a database or other means to retain facts and quantifiable data. Determine how the organization learned from these events and how employees improved their performance.
Qualaco, Inc. assists companies with aligning their company with ISO guidelines. Learn more about how we can improve your company’s quality.
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