Defining a Pre-Assessment Audit
A pre-assessment audit is one that is performed before a certification/registration audit takes place. This pre-assessment audit determines the degree of conformance of an organization’s management system(s) with the requirements of a standard (e.g. ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 27001, etc.)
After putting the time and effort to implement a management system and before diving into a certification audit, many organizations choose to contracting the services another organization or person to perform a pre-assessment audit. This is a full audit of a management system against the requirements of a specific standard that allows organizations to identify any nonconformities and implemented corrective actions before the certification audit.
About the Pre-Assessment Audit
A pre-assessment audit is performed with the same independence and objectivity as a certification audit. The auditor(s) will conduct activities such as documentation review, process review, interview of process owners, etc, in order to gather the necessary information that evidence compliance.
Audits are performed on-site and are a complete assessment of the management system against the requirements of the relevant standard. As any other audit, all nonconformities and observations found will be presented in an audit report that will be delivered at the end of the process; this report will serve as a baseline for the organization to improve its processes and implement the necessary corrective actions.
Who Needs a Pre-Assessment Audit?
Any organization that has implemented a management system and wishes to determine its readiness to undergo a certification audit can seek a pre-assessment audit.
What are the Benefits of a Pre-Assessment Audit?
Some of the benefits of performing this audit are:
- Helps organizations identify any non conformities and implement corrective actions.
- Contributes in the optimal preparation for the certification audit.
- An organization can focus its resources on weaknesses that might lead to nonconformities.
- Depending on the outcome, organizations can decide to postpone a certification audit that has already been scheduled or, on the contrary, face the certification audit with a renewed confidence.
- Helps organizations avoid unnecessary additional costs.
A Pre-Assessment audit can be conducted by qualified consultants, registrars, or competent individuals with experience and knowledge regarding the relevant industry sector and standard. It is important to remember that, just as an organization carefully chooses a certification body or any other service, it should also take the time to choose the correct organization or person to perform its pre-assessment audits.
Did you find that article helpful? Continue learning about Audits & how to choose the correct organization or person for your Audit.