5 Organizational Tips for Preparing Staff for an ISO 9000 Internal Audit

The ISO 9000 quality management system assures customers and stakeholders that a business meets global standards for management, procedures and products. Third party accrediting audits are routinely scheduled to maintain ISO 9000 certification. The following five organizational tips will assist management in preparing staff for an ISO 9000 internal audit by a third party accrediting agency.

  1. Quality Policy: It is not necessary for the staff to state the policy verbatim. All staff should be able to state in his/her own words the company’s quality policy. A company will have written a policy detailing the quality goals and objectives during the original certification procedure. The ISO 9000 quality management system policy is a brief statement that identifies a company’s commitment to quality.
  2. Quality Objectives: The staff should be able to state the quality objectives and freely discuss with ISO 9000 auditors how the quality objectives relate to his/her job duties. A quality objective is the goal that the company wishes to achieve for a particular product or service. Objectives help a company determine the prerequisites for consistency and to install continual improvement practices.
  3. Job Description: Members of the staff should be prepared to relate to auditors his/her job description. All responses should be brief. A job description is the written statement that describes the necessary qualifications, tasks, purpose, accountability and line of authority for a particular job. The staff member should know where a copy of the job description is located.
  4. Training Requirements: Staff members should be able to tell auditors how he/she is qualified for a particular job and quality training in which he/she has participated. Staff members should have access to proof of meeting job and quality training requirements. Proof may be in the form of training certificates, diploma or other documents. Staff should be familiar with all procedures for his/her job and know where to locate a written list of procedures for his/her job.
  5. Record Logs/Forms: Each staff member should be prepared to account for record logs and company forms pertaining to his/her job duties. All record logs and forms should be current and complete. Staff members should be able to produce past record logs or forms if asked by an auditor or required by another staff member. Auditors should not be shown classified documents or taken in restricted areas. Records for previous citations for non-conformance and corrective action measures should be complete and available for auditors.

*Photo courtesy of Auditor Fairfield NSW by Kurt Cooks at Flickr’s Creative Commons.

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