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isology® is a world-leading proven step by step roadmap to achieve ISO certification.

Implemented for over 600 organisations with a 100% success rate, we take you from the planning and creation of your bespoke ISO System though to certification with our 7 step process.

The work doesn’t stop once you get ISO certified, there is a requirement to complete an annual surveillance audit to ensure your Management System continues to meet the requirements of the standard(s).

Last week Mel covered some basic preparation you can do ahead of a surveillance audit, but what should you expect on the actual audit day?

Today, Mel shares 10 top tips to help you prepare and ensure your next surveillance audit runs as smoothly as possible.

You’ll learn

  • What is a surveillance audit?
  • What to expect during the surveillance audit
  • Considerations for remote vs on-site audits
  • What evidence do you need to have prepared?

Resources

In this episode, we talk about:

[00:36] A description of a surveillance audit

[02:00] A summary of the 10 top tips  

[02:40] There is no right or wrong way to prepare for a surveillance audit – but the following tips will be applicable regardless of the standard your certified to

[03:30] Tip 1: Be Prepared – A summary of what Mel covered in the previous episode  

[05:40] Tip 2 – The opening Meeting – Be sure to have all people involved in the audit present at the meeting. It’s advised to have a member of the leadership team present. Here the Auditor will explain the different types of audit findings.

[08:00] Tip 3 – Audit questions – Similar to your Stage 1 and 2 Assessment, you will be asked a lot of questions. Try to be specific with your answers, and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. Don’t worry if you don’t know the answers to certain questions outside of your area of expertise, simply direct them to the correct individual who can answer. You are within your rights to seek clarification on findings – Do not argue with the auditor, simply ask for justification on findings if you’re confused as to why they’re being raised.

[13:05] Tip 4: Keep on track – It’s in everyone’s best interest to stick to the Agenda.

[13:35] Tip 5: On-site Surveillance audits – Do a floor walk before the auditor arrives to check that you’re following your procedures. Make sure reception knows that the Auditor is arriving, and follows any of your standard visitor procedures. Try to book a room to base the audit in to avoid them overhearing any unnecessary chatter and to allow the auditor and auditees some privacy.  

[16:05] Tip 6: Remote Surveillance Audits – Ensure that you follow any company remote working procedures. Ensure you have a good wi-fi connection, all attendees should be visible on camera but be muted when not speaking. Make sure everyone has access to the necessary documents while off-site.

[17:15] Tip 7: The Auditor – They are human, and they are here to support you to ensure you are doing what you say you’re doing. They are experts on their Standards and it’s advised to foster a friendly relationship with them. But please be aware that they shouldn’t be sending you reports from personal email addresses, be left unattended on-site and shouldn’t be taking any information off-site – show evidence on screen / in-person during the audit.    

[20:20] Tip 8: The closing Meeting – Held at the end of the day. Listen to the feedback and findings from the auditor – they are there to help you improve. Feel free to ask for further clarification if needed. It’s advised to have everyone at the opening meeting present at the closing meeting.

[22:38] Tip 9: Evidence needed – You will typically need access to your audit schedule, audit reports and Management Review Minutes. You may also need various policies and procedures. Ensure that all documents are version controlled and any applicable branding is consistent.

[24:10] Tip 10: Enjoy it! – If you’re doing everything you say you’re doing, then you should enjoy showing off your Management System. The resulting report should be seen as an opportunity to continually improve – the auditor only wants the best for your business.

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episode’s:

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The work doesn’t stop once you get ISO certified, there is a requirement to complete an annual surveillance audit to ensure your Management System continues to meet the requirements of the standard(s).

Surveillance audits must be carried out by a Certification Body, during which they will typically look at your Management Review, your preventative and corrective actions process, Internal auditing process and the implementation of any recommendations that have come out of an Internal audit.

Today, Mel explains how you can prepare for a Surveillance audit and gives examples of some key considerations ahead of the Auditor arriving on site.

You’ll learn

  • What is a Surveillance Audit?
  • Why there is a requirement for an annual surveillance audit
  • What you need to prepare ahead of a surveillance audit

Resources

In this episode, we talk about:

[00:59] A description of a Surveillance Audit

[01:30] The purpose of a Surveillance Audit – Ensuring your Management System meets ISO Standard requirements and as an opportunity to demonstrate continual improvement

[02:40] There is no right or wrong way to prepare for a Surveillance Audit – but the following tips will be applicable regardless of the standard your certified to

[03:30] Tip 1: Check that you have an Agenda for the visit – This should be provided at the end of your last report from the Certification Body

[04:25] A brief overview of how the certification cycle works – A 3 year plan is usually provided to you by your Certification Body

[05:50] Ensure that you go ahead with a UKAS accredited Certification Body

[06:18] Tip 2: Confirm locations – make sure you know where the auditor is being sent and to prepare staff on site about the impending visit. This can also allow you to book out time for specific people that may be required during the audit

[07:10] Tip 3: Ensure you book out time for any required key members of staff – it is also advised that you book out a meeting room for the day

[08:45] Be prepared for the Auditor to walk around your site – Especially if they’re assessing ISO 45001 (Health and Safety) and ISO 27001 (Information Security)

[09:40] Double check if the auditor visit is on-site or remote  

[10:30] Tip 4 – Check that you have all the relevant Management System records in place – and that they’re up-to-date

[10:50] Examples of what documentation the Auditor will typically look at

[13:00] Tip 5 – Make sure you’ve closed out any opportunities for improvement and non-conformities from your last internal audit

[14:30] Tip 6 – Check if there have been any changes to your business that may effect the scope of certification i.e. New products or services with no controls in place yet or a new site

[16:00] Tip 6: Confirm the auditor’s visit and check if they have any accessibility or dietary needs.

[16:30] Tip 7: Warn any relevant reception / security staff about the visit so they know to expect the auditor. Ensure they go through any of your typical security procedures i.e. getting an access card, signing visitor book ect

[17:42] Tip 8: Send an email to all staff to remind them about the surveillance visit – good to do this a day or two ahead of the visit   

[19:45] Tip 9: Do a floor walk – Ensure that any of the physical controls you have in place are working as intended

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episodes:

Stitcher | Spotify | YouTube |iTunes | Soundcloud

Do you find keeping up with regular annual ISO tasks a struggle?

It’s easy to let ISO maintenance slip through the cracks, especially if it’s in addition to your primary job role.

If this sounds familiar, then you should consider outsourcing certain areas of your ISO management system to be managed by ISO experts.

Today, Mel explains the areas that should be managed in-house, the areas that can be outsourced, and the ISO support plan we offer to help businesses outsource aspects of their management systems.

You’ll learn

  • How long ISO certifications are valid.
  • Why businesses outsource some areas of their management system.
  • The different ISO areas you can outsource.
  • How to maintain quality when outsourcing internal audits.
  • The importance of quantifying the results of your management system.
  • The importance of employee engagement in your ISO management system.

Resources

  • Need support with revamping your Management System? check out our ISO Support Plan
  • Need guidance and support with ISO Standards? isologyhub

In this episode, we talk about:

[01:38] How long ISO certifications are valid and the ISO support plan we provide.

[02:38] Why businesses outsource certain aspects of their management system.

[03:34] What areas you can outsource and what you should keep in-house.

[04:48] Health and safety requirements and risk management needs.

[06:03] The most popular ISO areas that can be outsourced.

[09:27] How to optimise performance through updating management systems.

[09:57] The importance of being able to quantify the results of ISO systems.

[10:54] How to outsource the facilitation of your management review.

[12:15] Employee engagement training that can be outsourced.

Just a reminder, we’re offering 6 months free access to the isologyhub for anyone who signs up to an ISO Support Plan!

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episodes:

Stitcher | Spotify | YouTube |iTunes | Soundcloud

Has your Management System been left to collect dust? Hidden away so that no one except a select few can access and update it ahead of Surveillance Audits.  

If this sounds familiar, then it’s time to revamp your Management System to ensure it’s incorporated with your core vision and values and encourages engagement from employees on all levels.

Today, Mel takes you through 5 steps that will help to rejuvenate your Management System, including key content considerations, the design and alignment with your company culture.

You’ll learn

  • How to identify what’s essential for your Management System
  • How you can incorporate your Unique way of Working
  • How to take a collaborative approach to revamping your Management System
  • Key considerations for the look, feel and accessibility of your Management System
  • How to align your Management System with your company culture, strategy and goals

Resources

  • Need support with revamping your Management System? check out our ISO Support Plan
  • Need guidance and support with ISO Standards? isologyhub

In this episode, we talk about:

[00:57] What is essential from an ISO perspective

[01:22] How having too much in your Management System can lead to a lack of compliance

[02:20] Remember – If an ISO Standard states ‘shall’ – you must fulfill this requirement

[02:55] How to establish what’s essential to your business – including your way of working

[03:53] Different ways you can add value to your Management System    

[05:25] An example of how Blackmores have added value with our Client Success Journey

[07:15] Why collaboration is so important when revamping your Management system

[08:52] How a Quality Circle can assist with a collaborative approach

[10:15] How you can align your company culture, strategy, values and goals within the Management System

[11:32] Why it’s important to share the Management system and any related updates  

[12:38] Key considerations for the look, feel and accessibility of the Management System

[14:05] Examples of different ways you can display and share your Management System

[15:36] Consider how easy your Management System is to access and navigate 

[17:12] Consider different methods of communicating the Management System – i.e. Audio, video, visual, flowcharts ect  

Just a reminder, we’re offering 6 months free access to the isologyhub for anyone who signs up to an ISO Support Plan!

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episodes:

Stitcher | Spotify | YouTube | iTunes | Soundcloud

I thought we’d take a step back in time, to explain how Blackmores began. Not by implementing ISO Standards, but by offering support to a company that was already certified to ISO 9001 – my employer at the time.  I share my journey as a working mum juggling two children and my role as a Quality Manager, which triggered my Eureka moment resulting in the launch of Blackmores in 2006.

In the podcast, I explain about the some of the pain points that many organisations suffer with ISO Standards, and how the ISO Support Plan service alleviates these issues.  Some of the issues facing businesses include :-

  1. Internal auditors not being comfortable about auditing their peers.
  2. Internal auditors not being particularly objective or impartial when auditing their boss!
  3. Fed up with paying for training for a high turnover of internal auditors
  4. Managers not having time to update processes
  5. Managers not aware of their legal, regulatory or ISO Standards requirements
  6. Not updating key information i.e. Risk Register, BCP’s, environmental/energy metrics
  7. Not reviewing key information i.e. Objectives, Environmental/H & S/Data Security trends

If you find you’re juggling too many balls, and the ISO ball drops every now and then, our podcast explains the solution to keeping your balls flying high! For further information check out our ISO Support Plan page.

To help out the ISO Show:

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Consultancy service

Let us do it for you

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Online membership

DIY with our isologyhub

About Blackmores

Our 7 Steps to Success

The Blackmores ISO Roadmap is a proven path to go from idea to launching your ISO Management System.

Whether you choose to work with one of our isologist consultants or work your own way through the process on our isology Hub, we’re certain you’ll achieve certification in no time!

What our clients have to say

The support and advise I get from our assigned auditors is immense. Forward planning for the following year is great and they are flexible and always willing to help.

Kalil Vandi

“Blackmores have assisted us almost since the start of our adoption of the ISO 9001 quality standard. Their input has improved our processes since the start, and enabled our goal of continuous improvement to be achieved. The people are also extremely easy to get on with, and they really understand our business, giving us a great deal of confidence in their advice.”

David Gibson

Photon Lines Ltd

“Blackmores are the perfect bridge between working on your ISO as an individual or company, to being audited each year.  We find that any queries we have are covered and we feel sure that we have everything as needs be before going into an external audit.”

Mandy Welsby

Jaama Ltd

“We have been extremely impressed with the service and support provided by Blackmores.  There knowledge and assistance through out our ISO journey has been amazing!”

Philip Hannabuss

Dome Consulting

“Blackmores have really kept us on our toes with the broad scope and level of detail they apply to our internal audit schedule. They always stay abreast of ISO standard changes and help us to adapt our processes and documents to embrace these changes accordingly. Having Blackmores shadow our external audits provides invaluable confidence and peace of mind – would highly recommend their services!”

Phil Geens

Kingsley Napley

“Our ISO 27001 certification project has gone so well, that there was no doubt in who we were going to ask to help us with our aspirations of becoming ISO 14001 certified. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Blackmores, and we are really looking forward to working with them for the foreseeable future.”

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Welcome to the ISO Show podcast, dispelling myths and sharing tips for success to improve your business with ISO Standards. Join us to hear interviews with successful business leaders as they share their ISO journey with you.

Get top tips via audio master classes “ISO Steps to Success” on the most popular ISO Standards.

     

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