What does an ISO certification auditor do?

Written by Ivar van Duuren

March 13, 2023

role of an auditor

 

 

ISO certification is a voluntary process by which organizations can demonstrate their commitment to quality and safety standards. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a global governing body that sets standards among other quality, safety and environmental protection standards.

It is a way for organizations to demonstrate their commitment to producing safe products or services while ensuring customer satisfaction. It can also be a marketing tool to distinguish a company from its competitors.

If an organization chooses to become certified, an entire process with many different parties and steps follows. To ensure that the final criteria are met, a company usually hires an auditor to verify the application of the standard and certify that it has been met.

In this article, we discuss the role of an auditor in ISO certification.

Which parties are involved in ISO certification?

The process of achieving ISO certification requires that different parties work together towards one goal. This includes at least the management responsible for drawing up policies and procedures. In addition, internal employees are involved who are responsible for the implementation of that policy. Such as security officers or quality employees. But external consultants who advise on how the organization can best meet those requirements are also part of this process. In addition, there are external service providers such as auditors who are specially hired to assess whether the organization meets the requirements.

This auditor visits the organization for several days, weeks or months, depending on its size and complexity. During these visits, the auditor assesses whether all established criteria are met. What is the role of an auditor in ISO certification? An auditor plays a crucial role in an organization’s pursuit of ISO certification. The task of an auditor is broadly twofold. First, they review existing processes within the organization to determine whether they meet established criteria. Secondly, they check whether everything in the documentation provided actually corresponds to practice. 

What is the role of an auditor in ISO certification?

An auditor plays a crucial role in an organization’s pursuit of ISO certification. The task of an auditor is broadly twofold. First, they review existing processes within the organization to determine whether they meet established criteria. Secondly, they check whether everything in the documentation provided actually corresponds to practice.

Auditors provide independent oversight of the way things are actually done. They provide valuable insight into areas where improvement is needed to meet the standard. This may mean that additional training is required or additional checks are required. These adjustments ultimately lead to the successful achievement of the desired ISO certification, whether it is the 9001, 14001 or the 27001 series.

The 5 most important tasks of an auditor

1. Compliance Check

Thus, the primary responsibility of an auditor is to check whether an organization complies with international standards or regulations. During an audit process, the auditor must review documents and records related to each requirement and determine whether or not they meet those requirements. This includes evaluating how processes are being performed and determining if any changes are needed for compliance.

2. Examining procedures

An auditor should also review the existing procedures in use within the organization and make recommendations for any improvements. This includes, for example, examining existing systems and assessing their effectiveness. But also testing it against current legislation and identifying possible risks.

3. Create reports

After completing the audit process, an auditor prepares a report with findings and recommendations based on the analysis of the processes, procedures, documents and records. It is important that these reports are detailed yet concise so that they can be understood by individuals at all levels of an organization. These reports also provide evidence for the auditor’s observations during the review process.

4. Consultation with management

It is essential that auditors consult with management and directors when conducting an audit, especially if management action is required. This enables auditors to gain a better understanding of any issues. And it provides managers with valuable feedback on areas where improvement is possible.

5. Performance monitoring

Controlling the performance of the organizations lies primarily with the organization itself. An external auditor checks this no more than once a year. In addition to the external auditor, there is often also an internal auditor. This can be an employee or a hired auditor who checks in the meantime whether the organization meets all the requirements of the standard and the self-imposed requirements. This can be once a year or, for example, monthly or quarterly, where a sub-topic is subject to an internal audit.

What are the costs for an auditor with ISO certification?

The cost of hiring an auditor depends on several factors such as complexity due to the size, scope of the project or industry specific issues. Geographical location also plays a role.
In addition, a qualified professional is of course required who is experienced enough to carry out assignments correctly and within a reasonable period of time. This prevents unnecessary time wastage and contributes to a well-planned and efficient assessment process by the auditor. Some auditors offer discounts if multiple sites or locations require an audit.
In general, the cost ranges from $2,000-$15,000 depending on a number of factors:

    • The scope of work required.
    • The auditor’s preparation time for gathering relevant information.
    • The time required to analyze this information and develop the most appropriate corrective actions.
    • Guiding necessary actions by employees.
    • Checking afterwards whether everything meets the required specifications.
    • Costs for the final report with all conclusions and recommendations.
    • Possible travel costs depending on the geographical location of the location.

Conclusion

In short, understanding the role of an auditor in an ISO certification process and knowing what costs are involved helps in the decision-making process. And enables you to make well-considered choices to achieve goals efficiently and effectively.

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