We speak to new and existing clients every day. Feedback we get shows there is a great deal of confusion about the role of the Auditor and the Certification Body. As its the finals of Euro 2016 this weekend, we thought we'd give you a football type comparison!
1) The Team
Thats you. You and your hard working team who strive for consistency and quality in your processes, products and services. You've worked really hard to put a system in place and win sucess. You want to be recognised with a Trophy - in this case, an ISO certificate.
2) The Ref
The Referee (in this case the External Auditor) oversees fair play. He will follow a set of rules to check that you've done what you need to. On the field of play, he's the one that you see but like all refs, he's part of a team. Off the field, there is a committee who will check that he has done what he needs to. All Referees have to play by the rules, and in this case, the governing body is:
3) The FA
It's not really the FA, its UKAS. UKAS are the UK Accreditation Service. They are the ONLY recognised Body licensed to allow Certification Bodies to issue ISO certificates with a Tick and Crown on the certificate. This means something because every year, the Certification Bodies spend thousands of £££'s making sure they have trained auditors, complaints processes and experts in each sector to ensure your system is audited correctly.
Here's the biggest fallacy we hear:
Our Auditor will help us write our system
No they won't. They will provide you Opportunities for Improvement, but they cannot write your system. In order to do that, you either need to get trained on the systems yourself (lots of experience can substitute for a week long course of course), or you can pay an external consultant to come and help.
We hope that helps clear up a couple of questions you might have. Enjoy the game of course, and make sure you get certified by a UKAS accredited Certification Body