ISOQAR’s auditors are selected to meet the requirements of your particular sector. Your company’s activity, location of premises, size, and complexity are all taken into account. Registration to all management standards entails a two-stage audit process. On receipt of your application form, we will contact you to agree dates for the following:
Stage 1 Audit
The Stage 1 Audit usually takes place at your premises and aims to establish that your management system documentation meets the requirements of the relevant standard. Some of the management processes may also be audited at this point. We compile a detailed report and a planned audit schedule. These are discussed with you and provided for your information. Wherever possible we try to ensure the same auditor who carries out the Stage 1 audit will be carrying out the stage 2 audit as this will enable you to establish a rapport with your auditor and may help to reduce incidence of non-compliances at the next stage.
Objectives and purpose of the stage 1 audit are detailed below:
- To audit the client’s management system documentation and some management processes;
- To evaluate the client’s location and site-specific conditions and to undertake discussions with the client’s personnel to determine the preparedness for the stage 2 audit;
- To review the client’s status and understanding regarding requirements of the standard, in particular with respect to the identification of key performance or significant aspects, processes, objectives and operation of the management system;
- To collect necessary information regarding the scope of the management system, processes and any statutory regulations;
- To review the allocation of resources for stage 2 audit and agree with the client on the details of the stage 2 audit;
- To evaluate if the internal audits and management review are being planned and performed, and that the level of implementation of the management system substantiates that the client is ready for the stage 2 audit;
- To verify all information previously supplied is still correct and relevant and any changes required to the number of days for stage 2 must be agreed before the audit report is completed;
Stage 2 Audit
The purpose of the stage 2 audit is to evaluate the implementation, including effectiveness, of the client’s management system. The stage 2 audit shall take place at the site(s) of the client. It shall include all of the following:
- Information and evidence about conformity to all requirements of the applicable management system standard;
- Performance monitoring, measuring, reporting and reviewing against key performance objectives and targets (consistent with the expectations in the applicable management system standard;
- The client’s management system and performance as regards legal compliance;
- Operational control of the client’s processes;
- Internal auditing and management review;
- Management responsibility for the client’s policies;
At the close of the audit, the Lead Auditor will leave his recommendation with you, and this will include details of any non compliances found. There are two types of non-compliances
Major non-compliances – which must be rectified before certification can be recommended by the Lead Auditor.
Minor non-compliances – which do not affect the recommendation for approval but must be addressed prior to the issue of your certificate.
ISOQAR’s certification is valid for a three year period and monitored by an Auditor at regular intervals. All visits to your company are by appointment, thereby ensuring availability of relevant personnel.
At the end of three years your organization will need to be re-audited. Fees for this will be kept to a minimum and discussed with you in advance.
Please note: All audits are performed on the basis of limited sampling. If discrepancies are not discovered, there is no guarantee that they do not exist.
Extension to Scope of Certificate
Amendments or extensions to the initial certified scope are possible, for example, to include additional offices or new areas of business. Audits for this ‘extension’ can often be carried out causing minimum disruption to your organization. A common practice is to allocate some extra time during a routine surveillance visit.
Following certification your company can display the ISOQAR logo. If your company operates within ISOQAR’s accredited scope you can also display the ANAB Accreditation Mark.
Rules for Appeal
In the event of an audit which results in a recommendation not to approve registration to the relevant part of the standard (or at a later stage if notified that a certificate is to be withdrawn), a written appeal may be sent to the Operations Manager of ISOQAR.
An independent Appeals Panel will hear all appeals. Your company has a right to object to any member forming part of the chosen panel.The Operations Manager will then select a different panel. If the appeal is upheld, the findings of the Auditor will be overruled. If the Auditor is found to be correct, your company will be required to pay for a partial or full re-audit and the cost of the appeal.
Such appeals are exceptionally rare.
Any person or entity with a grievance against ISOQAR Inc or one of its registered clients may file a complaint. ISOQAR requests that the complaint be put in writing and sent to the Operations Manager. Any complaint received will be fully investigated and the findings reported to the complainant. If the complaint is against the Operations Manager, then it will be investigated by the Directors.