When your company decides to get a certification in any ISO management systems, for example, ISO 9001, ISO 14001 or ISO 45001, Your company will acquire the services of a certification body to carry out the activity for them.
Before the company obtains an ISO management system certification, a certification body will conduct an audit for them. The certificate will be issued when the audit is successful.
Carrying out an audit will require two stages; Stage 1 audit and stage 2 audit.
Before we go on to discuss stage 1 and stage 2 audits, let’s know what an audit is.
What is an audit?
According to guidelines for auditing management systems 19011:2018, An audit is a systematic, independent and documented process for obtaining audit evidence and evaluating it objectively to determine the extent to which the audit criteria are fulfilled.
However, the certification audit is in two stages. Stage 1 audit and Stage two audit
The difference in purpose, duration, information reviewed, and the location of the audit determines the two stages of the audit.
Stage 1 audit
The certification body conducts a stage 1 audit to review the management system documentation of the company they are auditing.
Most times, a stage 1 audit can be called a document review.
In stage 1 audit, the auditor checks the scope of the management system and key performance indicators and obtains information on the process and operations of a company.
This evidence will determine if that organisation is ready for stage 2 audit. Stage 1 audit determines the readiness of stage 2 audit. Stage 1 audit completes the stage two audit. Most times, it can be done in the office or remotely. In some places, you can conduct a Stage one audit within one or two working days. If your company has more than one location, the stage one audit may happen at your central location.
Stage 2 audit
When the organization undergoing the certification address the concerns from the stage 1 audit, the auditor commences a stage 2 audit.
Stage two audit evaluates the implementation and effectiveness of the organisation’s management system.
Stage 2 audit will offer the certification body the time to visit your site and check the degree of compliance with the management system depending on the audit criteria. They will look at Non-conformities and conformity in real-time.
Following the stage two audits, the auditor will check all relevant documented information that shows you conform with the standard.
The auditor will check your key performance indicators and evaluate their achievement while looking at the measurements, reporting and monitoring.
Check your internal audit, policy, management reviews and other manual And all relevant processes.
Most times, the stage two audit can last more than a day to many days because of the size and complexity of the auditee organisation, and the number of auditors available for the audit.
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Onyeka Emma is a QHSE Professional, a business person, and an entrepreneur. He is very passionate about health and safety, Business and Entrepreneurship.