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Top 6 mistakes to avoid when preparing for an ISO Certification Audit

Many businesses understand the benefits of being certified to the Safety, Quality and Environmental International Standards. These management standards help you to stay compliant, think competitively, increase productivity and safety, win more tenders, and improve efficiencies.

So why isn’t everyone rushing to follow the ISO standards? Well, they’re not always easy to understand, resource sufficiently or pass the audits! As practising Lead Auditors, we have worked with hundreds of businesses working to achieve best practices and become certified.

Here are the top 6 non-conformances organisations receive when completing their first certification audit:

  1. The organisation has only informal business plans in place. Often Senior Management meets regularly and has a clear idea on their direction. When pressed, they have clear reasons why certain strategic decisions were made, however, a formal process for reviewing their market and stakeholder needs is not in place and evidence of how these strategic decisions flow into daily activities is difficult to show. (Clauses 4.1 and 4.2)
  2. Systems and documents such as incident forms, plant risk assessments, customer feedback forms, environment and legal obligation registers exist but are not being used by the organisation. (Clause – 4.4)
  3. The organisation does not have a mechanism for staff to fully participate in the decisions, planning, and monitoring of the OHS system. This new ISO requirement goes beyond just an opportunity to provide feedback but giving workers a seat at the OHS table. (Clause – 5.4)
  4. Staff are being trained, but their competency around if the training sunk in, and confirming they can safely and successfully complete the task, is not being checked by the organsation. The old ways of having a licence or certificate as evidence that someone is competent, is no longer enough. (Clause – 7.2)
  5. Controlling external providers such as suppliers and contractors is often critical to a businesses success and reputation, however many businesses do not reguarly review supplier performance or have a formal criterion to measure performance against. (Clause – 8.4)
  6. And finally, often an internal audit program is not place, or if there is one, the program has not been followed or implemented. Remember, internal audits should be done by a competent person, independent to the function being auditing. (Clause – 9.2)

Many of these non-conformities can be prevented if managers, coordinators, and workers have a better understanding of the standards and their requirements. Many businesses skip ISO training because they can’t commit to the expensive and long 5 day courses, but it doesn’t have to be like this! Our online ISO awareness courses are practical, use fun videos, simple languages and real case studies. In just two hours we can demystify the standards for you and help you reach certification!


Please contact us if you would like to discuss enrolling all or some of your staff. Small Business Expo (23-24 March, 2022) participants receive a special discount if they complete their free trial before the 1st of December 2021.


eTACO, easy Training for Auditors and Compliance online. Contact: hello@etaco.com.au


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