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auditor

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Stage 1 vs Stage 2 Audits - ISOUpdate.com

A Certification Audit is the first step for your organization once you have decided to undergo an assessment process. Your options include undergoing an assessment with a Certification Body (CB), or Registrar, like The Registrar Company, to determine if your management system complies with the requirements of a given standard (ISO 9001ISO 14001ISO 45001, etc). This Certification Audit is completed in two stages: Stage 1 and Stage 2. These audits differ in many ways: their purpose, duration, information reviewed, and sometimes even location. Therefore it is important to understand the difference between Stage 1 and Stage 2 Audits, and the effect your selection of CB will have on the process.

These audits differ in many ways: their purpose, duration, information reviewed and sometimes even in the location where it will take place.

The objective of a Stage 1 Audit is to determine an organization’s readiness for their Stage 2 Certification Audit.
During the Stage 1, your Certification Body’s auditor will review your management system documented information, evaluate your site-specific conditions, and have discussions with personnel. The auditor will look to see that objectives and key performance indicators, or significant aspects are in place and understood. They will review the scope of the management system and obtain information on your processes and operations, the equipment being used, the levels of control that have been established, as well as any applicable statutory or regulatory requirements. Internal audits and management reviews will be evaluated to ensure they are being planned and performed and the overall level of implementation of your management system will be assessed to determine if your organization is ready to move forward with the Stage 2 Certification Audit.



Your Certification Body will use the Stage 1 Audit to complete Stage 2 Audit planning, including a review of the allocation of resources and details for the next phase of the audit. Documented conclusions will be given to your organization that will outline your readiness as well as identify any areas of concern that could be classified as a nonconformance during the Stage 2 Audit.

A Stage 1 Audit is usually carried out over 1 or 2 days and typically occurs onsite. For organizations with more than 1 location, the audits are usually carried out at your central function location.

The Stage 2 Audit evaluates the implementation and effectiveness of your organization’s management system(s). During the Stage 2 audit, your Certification Body will determine the degree of compliance with the standard’s requirements and report any non-conformances or potential non-conformances that your organization will have to correct before the certification can be issued. If the Stage 2 audit is successful, your organization’s management system(s) will be certified.

The Stage 2 Audit includes:

  • All relevant documented information that evidences your management system’s conformity with all the standard’s requirements;
  • Key performance objectives and targets, looking at performance monitoring, measuring and reporting;
  • Evaluation of internal audits, management review and management responsibility for your organization’s policies;
  • All relevant processes, looking at operational control and the ability to carry them out as planned.

The duration of the Stage 2 Audit is determined in accordance with the relevant IAF Mandatory Documents.  Depending on the size and complexity of the organization this audit can range anywhere from 1 to many days.

Every organization undergoing a certification process should maintain open and clear communication with their Certification Body in order to clarify any questions that may arise before the audits take place. At TRC, customer service is our top priority, with every facet of our organization designed with your satisfaction in mind.

Associating your company with an internationally recognized and trusted certification shows your customers that you hold their satisfaction and expectations above all and adds real value to your bottom line through increased efficiency and reduced risk – and working with the best Certification Body for your unique needs should be top of mind. Certification can be a lengthy process, and you will be working closely with your Certification Body and Auditor for years to come, ensure you pick the best.

 

About the Author

TRC is internationally recognized and trusted. With a large network of auditors, TRC is an international certification body with local benefits. With dedicated Client Service Managers and family-owned and entrepreneurial values, our clients are family. We take the time to understand your business and your unique needs. TRC audits are more than a checklist, we highlight your corporate strengths, and find opportunities for improved processes to ensure you stay competitive and thriving. TRC works with you to ensure minimal disruptions so you receive the highest benefits from the auditing process. Learn about how we can help you today.


Read about The Characteristics of an Excellent Internal Audit



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Become a Third Party Auditor - ISOUpdate.com

Third party auditors are those who perform an external and independent audit of an organization’s management system to evaluate if it meets the requirements of a specific standard; if successful, this third-party audit will provide the organization with certification or registration of conformity with the given standard.

A third party audit is carried out by a Registrar/Certification Body (CB) hired by the organization; therefore, in order for someone to be a third-party auditor, he/she needs to be employed by a CB.


Find a CB that is hiring in your area by visiting our Career Resources


All CB’s need to ensure that the auditor possesses the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve the intended results of the audits they are expected to perform. Standard interviews are typical.

  • Personal attributes that will enable them to act in accordance with the principles of auditing, which include ethical conduct, fair presentation, due professional care, independence, and free use of an evidence-based approach.
  • Knowledge on the contents of ISO 19011: 2011, Guidelines for auditing management systems.
  • Knowledge and skills on audit principles, procedures and methods, which will enable them to conducted audits in a consistent and systematic manner.
  • They should be able to exhibit professional behavior during the performance of audit activities, including being ethical, open-minded, diplomatic, observant, perceptive, versatile, tenacious, decisive, self-reliant, open to improvement, culturally sensitive, and collaborative.
  • Knowledge and skills on management system and reference documents that will enable them to comprehend the audit scope and apply audit criteria.
  • Sector specific knowledge which will enable them to comprehend the organization’s structure, business, management practices and the legal and contractual requirements applicable to the organization being audited.

As indicated in ISO 19011, someone pursuing to become a third-party auditor can acquired all these knowledge and skills by using a combination of the following:

  • Formal education/training and experience that contribute to the development of knowledge and skills in the management system discipline and sector the auditor intends to audit.
  • Training programs that cover generic auditor knowledge and skills.
  • Experience in a relevant technical, managerial or professional position involving the exercise of judgment, decision making, problem solving and communication with managers, professionals, peers, customers and other interested parties.
  • Audit experience acquired under the supervision of an auditor in the same discipline.

After acquiring all the necessary knowledge and skills and successfully being employed by a CB, third-party auditors must pledged to advocate a particular code of ethical conduct in the performance of an audit and they must abide the internal policies and rules of the CB that hires them. All these requirements must be followed in order to protect everyone involved in the audit process.

Find a CB that is hiring in your area by visiting our Career Resources.