Avoid Letting Your ISO Status Lapse This Year
ISO audits due during the pandemic can be rearranged, but shouldn’t be ignored.
If you were due for an ISO certification audit this year, then the pandemic may have put your plans on hold. Although the nature of Covid-19 is beyond anything that even the most robust of disaster recovery plans could have expected, if you are ISO certified, then it’s imperative that you take the necessary steps to hold onto your certifications. Take a proactive stance towards planning for your next audit as there could be incredibly negative consequences for your business if you choose to let your ISO status lapse.
Challenges In Onsite Auditing
If your ISO audit was due towards the beginning of the pandemic, then you may already have been contacted by your accreditation body to postpone or restructure your audit. One of the difficulties that auditors are facing is the inability to attend businesses onsite for a full evaluation of processes to ensure that ISO criteria are being met. This is made more difficult still, where businesses have either chosen or been forced to adopt a remote working model.
Cost of Recertification
However tricky it may be to carry out an ISO audit this year, be warned that not taking action could lead to your certifications expiring. In this scenario, recertification would be possible at some stage, but comes at a cost of roughly three times the price of an annual audit. To avoid this hefty fee at a time where your business may need to keep a tight grip on outgoing finances, it’s essential that you communicate with your auditing body to plan exactly when an audit could happen without risk of losing your ISO status.
Perhaps even more concerning than the prospect of a recertification bill though, is the potential for there to be contractual breaches if you fail to retain your ISO accreditations. The industry advantage that you experience when you achieve these superior standard awards could be essential to your business contracts. If your clients have signed with you due to the ISO quality management system which has been promised, then letting your certifications lapse could cause your business relationships to break down. An ISO consultancy explains you may discover that your reputation is at risk and you could experience difficulty in attracting new business from those seeking an ISO partner.
Luckily, ISO assessment bodies do recognise the challenges of have a scheduled audit due during 2020. Therefore, audit extensions are being widely provided due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it’s important that you view these merely as a postponement and recognise that you should avoid being underprepared for your next assessment. Even though your internal processes and remote or office based working models may have changed beyond recognition, this is still an excellent opportunity to examine the efficiency of your internal operations. In fact, an ISO audit could be just what is needed to monitor the quality management systems within your workplace create opportunities to make the necessary changes to improve customer experience for 2021 and beyond.