The Quality Connection
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. This article explains the objectives, roles and responsibilities of the organization, consulting company and certification body 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
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)
Issues 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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