Audits can be stressful and hard work. If you prepare professionally, you can make life easier for yourself, and your auditor to help your audits run smoothly.

The main principles of Preparing for Audits are:


Make sure you know the scope of the audit. There should be an agreed audit schedule in advance. This helps you prepare the information the auditor

No..What to look for
1Determine scope of audit from audit schedule & clarify with auditor which areas they want to see (locations and documentation)
2Read Previous Audit and ensure  Non-Conformances have been  corrected (or corrective action plans are in place to complete)
3Confirm Management Reviews have been completed and Agenda, minutes and actions created according to ISO standard requirements.
4Check Management System manual up to date
5Arrange Meeting Rooms
6Arrange interviews  with correct  people                                  
7Print out all documents that the auditor is likely to want to see
8Check internal audit schedule up to date and audits are completed correctly and evidenced.
9Confirm all documents required have been updated according to document control procedures
10Check policies and procedures up to date, in place and all staff know where to find them
11Confirm any objectives and targets have been agreed, signed off and where any have not been achieved, actions are in place for correction
12Confirm any metrics identified in Management System have been measured and assessed
13Confirm any records created to evidence activities are correct
14Confirm process maps / process documents are up to date and correct
15Confirm Job Descriptions are in place.
16Check everyone knows data classifications for documents (where they are, how long they’re stored for and disposal process.
1If your visit is a re-certification or a surveillance (follow-up) audit, then you know what to expect, so the most important principle is to keep on top of it. If you have your audit, breathe a sigh of relief and then don’t look at it until the auditor turns up for the next audit, you will fail. If you keep on top of the actions, make sure they are progressed and keep your evidence to show progress, you will make your life easier.
2Treat your auditor with respect. They are human, after all!
3Get there early! Sometimes auditors turn up early and look around the site before you get there and find out issues (especially with security based audits – ISO 27001 for example).
4Stay with your auditor at all times (except bathroom visits). Do not let them wander around unaccompanied. Also don’t let them free at a PC clicking away looking for things. Ask what they want to see and you show them.
5The auditor has a right to see what is in the scope of your Management System and the audit scope. If it’s not in scope then politely decline.
6Know who you can sit with your auditor to show them the information they need to see, and who you can’t. You will know the good people who can give a positive impression                              
7If you don’t agree with the auditor’s conclusion you can challenge them politely. Ask them to show you where the relevant standard states the point they are making.
8Ask your auditor for advice. If they raise a non-conformancy and you don’t know what to do about it, ask the auditor how they can fulfil the requirement. Often auditors see a lot of sites and can pass on their experience and good practice from other sites.

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