Every ISO 14001 audit consists of the following stages:
An opening meeting involving the client's management and responsible individuals for the functions or processes subject to the audit.
Communication During the Audit
The audit team designated by CO/SM regularly assesses the audit progress and exchanges information. The lead auditor assigns tasks to individual team members during the audit; any deficiencies are communicated to the client. If available audit evidence shows that the audit objectives are unattainable or a significant non-conformity is identified, the lead auditor informs the client and CO/SM.
Information Gathering and Verification
CO/SM uses interviews, process and activity observations, documentation and record review for information gathering and verification.
Identification and Recording of Audit Findings
Findings summarizing conformity and non-conformity are recorded by audit team members during the audit to enable a qualified certification decision or maintenance of certification. Auditors document opportunities for client's QMS improvement, deviations from specific requirements, which are discussed with the client.
Preparation of Audit Conclusions
Before concluding the audit, the audit team reviews the audit findings and any other relevant information obtained during the audit in relation to audit objectives and criteria, and classification of non-conformities. The final meeting involves a discussion about audit conclusions, and subsequently, necessary actions are identified. During the final meeting, attended by the client's management and, if appropriate, individuals responsible for functions or audited processes, audit conclusions are presented, including certification-related recommendations. Any non-conformities found during the audit are presented in a manner understandable to the client, and a timeline is agreed upon for non-conformity rectification.
Certification process procedures take into account specific aspects for different types of audits. This procedural guideline is available to CO/SM clients upon request.
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