The Importance Of An ISO Audit

A computer screen, showing a quality score.

If you work in the construction or automotive industries, odds are you already have a degree of familiarity with ISO 9001 and other similar documentation. These standards lay out exactly what’s required when it comes to the quality management systems any given organization is implementing. Created as a way to ensure that companies are able to meet the needs of their stakeholders and customers while still remaining compliant with industry-standard regulations and statutory requirements, the ISO family of documents are a vital aspect of any quality management system, and as such play an important role in any group’s overall workflow.

An ISO audit is a way to make sure that your company is conforming with the standards laid out in the ISO documents. As an independent, methodical examination into the activities a business is implementing, an ISO audit can figure out whether the quality management systems measures that are in place are an effective, efficient, and suitable way to achieve the objectives the group has decided to target. Given the potentially huge differences to overall performance that can come about as a result of well-designed, well-implemented quality management systems processes, an ISO audit can be incredibly important to any company who wants to make sure they’re doing things as effectively as they can, as well as being a way to practice due-diligence that all of the company’s processes are compliant with the relevant regulations.

What Happens During An ISO Audit?

Somebody using a magnifying glass to study a document.

Throughout the course of a full-fledged ISO audit, a number of things will happen, each of which is a way for the auditing group to make sure they’ve ticked all the boxes they need to tick in order to offer a clean bill of health to the company in question. The first of these will generally be a way to confirm that the management system put in place by the organization is conforming with whichever ISO standard is relevant to that company’s work and industry. This can be considered part of a ground-up approach to ISO auditing, given that if the quality management system itself isn’t conforming with the pertinent standards, the processes and actions which stem from that system won’t count as being conforming either.

Similarly, steps will be taken during an ISO audit to make sure that the quality objectives set out by the company are being adequately met by the actions and processes being taken. If the work the company is putting in place to meet the quality objectives isn’t suitable, your business is potentially spending a lot of time and money on something that isn’t working as well as it could. This is obviously something you’d want to be aware of so you can fix it, and an ISO audit is the best way of identifying these kinds of problems early on as a means of saving your group expense, labour, and capital down the line.

Spotting Problems

If there were problems previously found within your company’s quality management system, the chances are you’ve already started trying to fix them. However, without in-depth, firsthand experience carrying out ISO audits yourself, it’s possible that there’s still room for improvement when it comes to the way your company is addressing any management systems-related problems. An ISO audit can confirm that existing problems are being addressed correctly, by looking into exactly how the actions being taken by your organization have been affecting the problem areas. Because quality management systems can include complicated, large-scale processes, there’s a lot of room for something to go wrong at some point, which is where an ISO audit can really come in handy, since it’ll take a thorough look at every possible area.

As well as checking the effectiveness of any problem-solving measures that have been put in place by your company, a well-designed, thorough auditing process will also identify areas that could benefit from some improved processes and actions. Because the audit as a whole will look so closely at the management systems, if there are any areas that could do with some improving, the audit will pick up on these. At the end of the process, your company will be advised on exactly where, why, and when these improvements should be implemented as a means of making sure that the quality management system in place is as lean and functional as possible. 

Why A Company Might Need An ISO Audit

Any organization that is concerned about exactly how their quality management system is functioning will be able to take advantage of an ISO audit — and the results of the audit will go a long way towards ensuring that the system itself is as streamlined and robust as possible. Because ISO audits target the state of the management system as a whole, they’re able to go into great detail across a number of different areas within the organization, ensuring that once it’s all said and done, you’ll know for a fact that your quality management system is working as well as it possibly can — not to mention the peace of mind you’ll be afforded when you know for sure that everything you’re doing is conforming with the relevant ISO standards

As a way to highlight the importance of an ISO audit, maybe it’s best to imagine the opposite scenario. If you don’t opt for an ISO audit at some point or other, how will you know for sure that everything you’re doing with your quality management system is working? How can you prove that all of your quality management system and its processes are compliant with industry-standard regulations? 


The beauty of an ISO audit is that it takes all of the hassle off your hands, by verifying the conformity, effectiveness, and overall efficiency of the quality management system you already have in place. An ISO audit will target any problem areas and point out ways you can improve them, as well, making it among the very best option available to any organization that wants to make sure that their quality management system is working as well as possible. You can find out more about ISO audits by getting in touch with The ISO Edge’s customer support team here.


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