Updated: Apr 3, 2020
WHAT IS ISO?
Before getting into the benefits of ISO Audit, let us first understand what ISO is. ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is a nongovernmental organization that sets standards that are voluntary international standards. The most important benefit of ISO is it provides common standards worldwide, making trade and business easier across borders.
ISO is not an acronym as commonly mistaken, but derived from a Greek word "isos" which means "equal." The name says it all. It sets standards that are uniform for all. If one organization is ISO compliant, it is exactly similar to the compliance of another organization elsewhere. The ISO certification improves the credibility of the organization in the business scenario.
Everybody talks about ISO certification and standardization, but the question here is why ISO? What benefits does it provide to any company? What are the merits of getting ISO certified? The burning question always is, "ISO is not a mandated certificate, but then why should I even bother getting one for my organization?." A very valid question indeed, but then this effort here is to make them question themselves "why not?"
The catchphrase of ISO is "great things happen when the world agrees" and I can't agree more on that slogan. A business organization's main motto is to look for areas of improvement continuously. Obtaining an ISO certification enables any organization to lay a strong pathway to measure where they are and to improve where it is required. It helps in improving the efficiency of the organization and also enhances the growth and sustainability of the company. Also, with the certification, there is increased credibility and recognition for the company. ISO enables the company to check the processes in place, when the processes are controlled, there is consistency; when the consistency increases, there are better results; with better results, growth is a promised outcome. Now, I do hope you get to understand "why ISO!"
WHAT is iso audit?
The beauty of ISO is there are no set rules laid by anyone to be followed by the organizations. The company that wants to be certified comes up with their own Quality Manual with objectives and policies listed out. The importance of conducting an ISO audit is to confirm that the objective and policies laid out are known and followed in the organization.
ISO Audit is layman's terms means "an audit conducted to ensure the organization is actually doing what they said they were doing."
ISO defines audit as "A systematic and independent examination to determine whether quality activities and related results comply with planned arrangements and whether these arrangements are implemented effectively and are suitable to achieve objectives."
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ISO AUDIT?
With the above being said, there are various benefits an organization would reap during the process of ISO Audit procurement. We shall briefly discuss about the benefits here.
There are a lot of benefits from undergoing an ISO audit, the primary one being getting more clients to the business.
While preparing for an ISO audit, the organizations do bring about consistencies in operations, which in turn motivates the employees to identify and implement quality process, and due to this process implementation waste can be reduced and eliminated completely. This clearly shows even preparing for an audit provides a great opportunity for improvement.
Conducting an audit provides a gateway for reviews and also assists in keeping tabs on the performance. Audit basically is a third-party examination to check on whether the business processes and final products are what the organizations says they are and while the processes followed lets the organization achieve the final goal that is aimed at.
ISO Audit enables an organization to get ISO certified. There are Consultancy Firms who help out organizations planning to get certified by providing them Awareness Training, assist and allow them to practice what is mentioned in the Quality Manual as policies and objectives, and give sufficient time before conducting an Internal Audit. Internal Audit, simply put is a mock audit conducted right before the actual ISO Audit is conducted to check for any nonconformity. Nonconformity basically means non-fulfillment of a requirement which might either be required by the ISO Standard, or the organization's own documentation in their manual, or as suggested by the consultant.
So, basically, internal audit helps identify nonconformity even before the actual certification audit and provides sufficient time to rectify the gaps.
Once all the nonconformity are dealt with, the organization can go ahead and have a certification audit which would be the audit conducted to provide the ISO Certification.
In essence, the auditing is the most essential part of the certification in identifying the processes in place, if it is followed correctly, and if not what should be done. Once the auditor gives a go, the ISO certification is issued to the organization.