The Ins and Outs of ISO 9001 Internal Audit

For ISO 9001 to proceed, one must ensure that there is some form of document control of the entire procedure. This is simply a part of (well, a highly important part of, that is) the updates standards specifications of ISO 9001, which also requires to have a quality policy and maintain quality objectives, not to mention a quality manual and documented procedures. The need for document control will also stem from the fact that there is a requirement for specific documents that are also identified in the standards of the ISO 9001, not to mention other seemingly important documents that are needed to ensure the more effective process planning and operation functions.

The ISO 9001 document control function is part of the minimum procedures that are required by this updates ISO 9001 standard. The new standards make use of document control in order to determine what other additional documents are required, as regulated by the process approach and the systems approach that is the new viewpoint of documenting and managing quality.

As such, the company must be able to identify and document both individual and group processes (which are activities that have inputs and outputs) to be able to look to play the part of document control. ISO 9001 document control is also based on the quality management principles that underlie the requirements in the new set of standards that also imply that both control as well as synergy can only be reached through understanding and monitoring of the entire system.

Any company that wishes to become ISO 9001 certified will need to subject itself to a form of internal audit procedure. This is necessary if one were to be given the seal or standard of excellence as known to have passed the requirements of an international standard giving body. The internal audit must be clearly specified as such, the criteria for evaluation must be well defined.

But what do such companies audit against? To give you an idea, the procedures in ISO 9001 are audited against the industry specific regulations of the company as well as the different contractual requirements. As a tip, you might want to read up on the relevant documentation before the audit itself and make your own audit checklist so you will have a guide of all the key aspects that need to be evaluated.

The scope of the internal audit runs far and wide far enough to reach the entire sequence of the process and wide enough to cover all forms of interaction of such. The internal audit program is not really specified in the manual, but the normal practice is to audit the entire thing at least once a year or more, if the organization or the results that came out of the process deems it appropriate to do so. The internal audit procedure is done via a wide host of means like interviewing staff, observing the different activities as well as looking at relevant records of the entire organization.

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