Internal Audit Expertise for 2019: Don’t Fail the Surveillance Audit

Many companies have finally completed their upgrade audits for ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, IATF 16949:2016, AS9100D, and ISO 13485:2016 through an intensive effort. Congratulations to all those who made that happen in your organization! This means your Registrar auditor left, satisfied, with the recommendation for your continued QMS certification.  Now, in 2019, the next big test: your first surveillance audit.

Companies and regulations are becoming increasingly more complex, and so has the internal auditing process. An effective internal audit demands investment in skilled resources, methods, and training.  Certification auditors had so many new requirements to verify that they may have inadvertently missed some substantive nonconformances.  The processes that you put in place quickly for your audit may not have been suitably effective or sustainable.  Your organization’s internal auditors need to perform more than 1 or 2 audits per year to be competent.  However, they have their regular responsibilities that make it difficult to gain the valuable experience needed from repetition and they may have missed some requirements as a result.

Surveillance audits are generally required at least once a year.  During the surveillance visit, the certifying body auditor will pay particular attention as to whether your documented system really works. From a risk-based thinking standpoint, there is a significant risk that during your next audit there may be some major nonconformances found now that the dust has settled. A single major nonconformance found by a Registrar can cost your company over $1,000 for a site visit to close the finding.

The solution: allow Illinois BIS’s Exemplar Global Certified Auditors to review your internal audit process, redesign it to maximize its effectiveness, and perform your internal audits. Having the same training as every Registrar auditor, BIS auditors will ensure that you have an objective and impartial audit process. You will have complete confidence that your Quality Management System follows the applicable standard on an on-going basis.

Don’t wait for help until your registrar issues nonconformance findings!  Contact Illinois BIS today to have a no-cost conversation with one of our experts who can explain how you can take advantage of our expertise NOW.

Charles Liedtke
Senior Consultant