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How Can You Get Ready for an ISO Audit?

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a global leader in developing standards to ensure the safety, effectiveness, and sustainability of products and processes across industries. ISO offers various standards, and some, like ISO 9001 and ISO 27001, provide certification through audits. An ISO audit assesses an organization’s compliance with ISO standards and can be conducted internally or externally. 

Types of ISO Audits

There are three types of ISO audits: internal audits (first-party), supplier audits (second-party), and external audits (third-party). 

  • Internal Audits (First-Party Audits):

Conducted by designated auditors within the company to ensure ISO compliance and improve best practices. They use an internal audit checklist and communicate results to stakeholders for continuous improvement.

  • Supplier Audits (Second-Party Audits):

Performed by purchasing companies on suppliers to assess ISO compliance and manage risks in an interconnected world.

  • External Audits:

Conducted by third-party auditors to assess ISO compliance, including certification and surveillance audits for all supply chain members.

Tips to Help You Get Ready for an ISO Audit

Here are some valuable tips to guide you through the preparation process:

  • Determine Your Goals:

Clearly define the objectives of the ISO audit. Identify the areas you want to improve, the specific ISO standards you aim to meet, and the desired outcomes. Having well-defined goals will help you focus your efforts and allocate resources more efficiently, ultimately saving time and money.

  • Create an Audit Schedule:

Develop a comprehensive audit schedule that outlines the timeline for various audit stages, including internal audits and external certification audits, if applicable. Assign responsibilities to appropriate personnel, ensuring everyone involved knows their roles and deadlines. A well-planned schedule will keep the preparation on track and ensure that nothing is overlooked.

  • Compile Audit Checklists:

Audit checklists are essential tools for ensuring compliance with ISO guidelines. These checklists should cover all relevant ISO standards, allowing you to evaluate each aspect of your organization’s processes and systems. Keep the checklists up-to-date, aligning them with the latest ISO revisions and best practices. Regular updates ensure that you stay current with industry standards.

  • Get Organized:

An organized work environment is crucial for a successful ISO audit. Establish a robust document control system that manages all relevant documentation effectively. Ensure that all documents related to ISO compliance, processes, procedures, and records are easily accessible and well-maintained. A clean and organized workspace demonstrates your commitment to maintaining high standards.

  • Conduct Internal Audits First:

Prioritize internal audits before the external assessment. Internal audits allow you to identify and rectify potential non-conformities or areas for improvement before the official ISO audit. It showcases your dedication to compliance and readiness for external scrutiny. By addressing any issues internally, you increase your chances of a smoother external audit process.


By following these tips, your organization can be better prepared and more confident when facing an ISO audit. Use the audit as an opportunity to enhance your processes, improve efficiency, and showcase your commitment to quality and excellence. Preparing for an ISO audit can be a daunting task, but with proper planning and execution, it can become a manageable and even beneficial process for your organization.

David Scott
David Scott
Digital Marketing Specialist .


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