Indraprastha SystemCert Services
1. Gap analysis
For organizations just starting the process of formulating their quality management system, Indraprastha SystemCert can perform a fact finding visit identifying and reporting the gaps between the standard’s requirements and the current method of operation. The gap analysis identifies the main areas of concern and indicates where maximum impact can be obtained from a quality management system.
2. Preliminary audits
Preliminary audits are designed to identify problems that could prevent certification before the formal audit process starts. They are entirely optional and can focus upon the activities that the client chooses. Preliminary audit time is half that of a certification audit but this is varied to suit client needs. They are most usefully performed at the time of document review but are always before the certification audit. One preliminary audit is usually sufficient but some client’s prefer several to coincide with progressive implementation of their quality management system. If the client is extending the scope of their (already certified) system, a preliminary audit can be performed for the extended scope only.
3. Document review
The document review is normally performed on-site and has three main objectives :
- Identify omissions or conflicts with ISO 9000 within the quality management system documentation
- Plan the certification audit, giving the sequence and timing for departments, activities or functions
- Confirm that the certification audit and subsequent surveillance durations are correct
Problems identified in the document review are formally reported. The correction of problems is reviewed at the certification audit which should be performed within six months of the document review. If the time is greater, another document review is necessary. Second document reviews may be performed remotely at Indraprastha SystemCert offices.
4. Certification audits
Certification audits examine all aspects of the quality management system. Problems are reported as either major or minor non-conformances, observations or opportunities for improvement. Observations and improvement opportunities do not influence the decision to award certification. Several minor non-conformances identified during the audit will not prevent recommendation for certificate award. However, one (or more) major non-conformance will result in certification being deferred until corrected.
When certification is deferred, a further visit is necessary to confirm appropriate correction has occurred allowing certification.
5. Surveillance audits
Surveillance audits are normally performed at approximately 6 month intervals. Every audit will review ‘mandatory’ elements such as management review, internal audits, customer complaints and so on. A schedule is prepared which ensures all activities are examined during the three year certificate term. The last, 5th surveillance, will include a document review and planning for the re-certification audit performed 3 years after certificate issue.
In some circumstances, when requested by the client, surveillance audits may be performed annually.
6. Re-certification audits
Re-certification audits examine all system elements and activities. Following successful re?certification, the certificate is re-issued and the cycle of surveillance audits is repeated.
7. Admission audits
Clients who are currently certified by other service providers can be admitted to Indraprastha SystemCert certification. Indraprastha SystemCert prepares a schedule which integrates with the position in the certification cycle that the client has reached. When clients are awarded a certificate after an admission audit, it has the same expiry date as the original.
8. Extension audits
During the certificate life, clients may need to increase the activities to which their certificate applies. Audits examine the additional activities to determine compliance. Certificates are re?issued stating the new scope. Extension audits are usually performed at the same time as surveillance visits, but may be performed as stand alone audits.
9. Multi-site audits
When clients have one quality system covering many sites, a multi-site certification scheme can be applied. Sampling of sites occurs which saves audit time and cost. The scheme is applicable to remote sites performing essentially similar activities with a common management system.
Non-conformances may be identified at document review, certification and surveillance audits. When a major non-conformance is identified, 3 months is normally given to either close it completely or to implement enough corrective action to justify down-grade to a minor status.
Major non-conformances must be either closed or down-graded to permit certification. If major non-conformances are identified during surveillance visits, a special follow-up audit is required.
Minor non-conformances are reviewed during each visit, with a 12 month limit to close them. A minor non-conformance will be up-graded to major status if not closed within 12 months.
If major non-conformances are not closed within the defined time, the certificate is suspended pending withdrawal. This occurs after a review by a different auditor to confirm the validity of the outstanding non-conformance.
11. Audit duration
Accredited certification providers comply with audit durations defined by the accreditation bodies, and is based upon the number of employees. This rather broad approach is generally accurate but in some circumstances more or less time than necessary is allocated. At the start of the certification process (usually at the document review) the time required for an effective audit is determined and adjustments made when required.
12. The audit team
Indraprastha SystemCert have a system in place that matches the experience of the assigned auditor(s) with the client’s needs. This is to ensure that the auditor understands the client’s organisation and the processes involved. Indraprastha SystemCert’s quotations record the assigned auditor for the document review. During the document review, the audit team that is assigned is recorded on the report. Clients have the right to appeal or object to assigned auditors. This is particularly relevant if the assigned auditor has worked with the client in some other capacity which could potentially result in a conflict of interest being apparent.