Why the very first ISO9001-2008 audit is the easiest you’ll ever have.

This past week I participated in the very first accreditation audit for Company F to the ISO9001-2008 standard. We had a lot of things going for us. I was familiar with the auditor, we had worked together before. Conversely, the auditor was familiar with my consulting work which, hopefully, gave him a certain sense of confidence. Company F passed the audit with no serious issues. A couple of “opportunities for improvement” were written in the final report, but no nonconformances were written. The looks of relief and happiness were really something to experience. Of course I have been through many audits as a quality manager and as a consultant, so this is nothing new to me. Company F’s management, however, had never been through an ISO9001 audit before and were understandably nervous.

Although the initial preparation for the first audit can be quite time consuming and laborious, the first audit itself is probably the easiest one this company will ever have.

Company F’s ISO9001:2008 quality management system has been in place only for the past 4 months. There has not been much time to create lots of records, lots of evidence that they’re using the system. Auditors that I’ve worked with usually understand this about first-time auditees, and so are not so picky about having tons of records.

Also, since the quality management system has only been in place for a short time, there hasn’t really been much time to allow a good sample for measuring quality objectives. In the four months since Company F started their ISO9001:2008 quality management system, their quality objective measurements show they’re doing a fantastic job. So fantastic that they’ve exceeded all of the quality objectives they set at the start.

I advised Company F that these quality objectives would probably not be sufficient for very long, in fact I thought it would be a good idea to revise them before the registration audit. Management wanted to keep the quality objectives as they were, citing that the sample of data was pretty small, and they wanted to give their quality system more time to gather data before revising their quality objectives. I didn’t have a big problem with this, so the quality objectives remained as they were. The third-party auditor also had no problem with the objectives, for the same reason.

For these reasons, I think the first registration audit is probably the easiest. For future audits, Company F is going to have to demonstrate continual improvement. The quality objectives will be measured prior to management review meetings, and it’s very likely the quality objectives will have to be revised upwards as the company exceeds the goals set earlier.

Similar Posts:

One Response to “Why the very first ISO9001-2008 audit is the easiest you’ll ever have.”

Leave a Reply