The Quality Connection
How is an ISO consulting company different from a Certification Body?
As an ISO consulting company, simpleQuE specializes in quality and environmental management systems and we are frequently asked what services we provide and how we are different from a Certification Body (CB). This article explains the objectives, roles and responsibilities of the organization, consulting company and CB to provide a better understanding of the quality connection between all three.
Organization (Manufacturing or Service Company)
Seeks to achieve one or more of the following objectives:
- Implement and develop a new quality (QMS) and/or environmental management system (EMS)
- Upgrade certification or expand to a new standard
- Improve and/or simplify an existing QMS or EMS registration
- Obtain certification
Quality Managment System (QMS) Consulting Company (simpleQuE)
Assists organizations with implementation, improvement or transition by:
- Providing customized consulting, training and internal auditing services and solutions
- Assessing existing processes through a gap analysis and developing an action plan
- Offering internal and supplier audits, as well as, certification readiness audits
- Training for internal auditors and management including implementation and full standard reviews
Helps organization partner with Certification Body:
- Assuring a common language for auditing and interpretation of the standard so it corresponds with the expectations of the Certification Body and requirements of the standard
Certification Body (Registrar)
A CB is accredited to audit and issue certifications: Provides organizations a resource for management system certification by evaluating policies and procedures to verify implementation and effectiveness against the specific requirements of the standard. Assessment consists of a series of audits:
- Document review (sometimes combined with Stage 1)
- Initial certification audit – Stage 1
- Confirm that organization is ready (or not) for a full Certification Audit. Typically 30-60 days prior to the Stage 2 Certification Audit.
- Verifies required documentation exists, certain requirements have been met such as a full internal audit completed, a management review completed, and risks considered.
- Verifies processes have been established and is appropriate for the scope of certification, and that appropriate monitoring and measuring of processes are in place with appropriate objectives.
- Plans the Certification Audit based on information and data gathered
- Certification audit – Stage 2
- A full QMS or EMS audit. Confirms that the management system fully conforms to the requirements of the standard.
- Certification is issued upon successful completion of Stage 2 assessment and closure of any findings.
- Surveillance audit
- Certification is maintained through a series of annual surveillance audits (sometimes semi-annual). Every third year a full recertification audit is performed and a new certificate issued.
In summary, good communication between all partners is important to ensure all requirements and objectives are met in a simple straightforward way to comply with the standard. At simpleQuE we partner with the client and Certification Body to make quality excellence “simple”.
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