Updating and reviewing your ISO Management System after the Pandemic?
Many businesses are currently asking QSC questions regarding their ISO Certification and Management Systems.
Here are some of the FAQ’s which we thought may be useful to businesses currently:
My certificate has expired what do I need to do?
Contact QSC to arrange a review of your current system to see if there are any significant issues likely to cause problems at re-certification.
QSC will contact your Certification Body (CB) to see how they would need to proceed to get your certificate reinstated. (see further details below).
I haven’t kept up-to-date with my audits and management reviews and only have limited time available?
Contact QSC to arrange to carry out internal audits and management review. Once completed we can arrange to set up periodic visits to your business to assist in maintaining the Management System.
I asked for an extension due to the Pandemic, how does it work?
The Certification Body will allow up to 6 month extension from when your last audit was due, however your next audit following the extension will be brought back into the original audit schedule, meaning you may have 2 audits in the same year rather than an annual audit.
The first thing to say is – don’t panic…..
Managing and running a compliant ISO management system has never been so difficult. Scarce resources, due to furloughed workers, have impacted these management systems. This is where the key elements of risk management and the ‘Plan, Do, Check, Act’ mantra of management system standards come into their own. Many of the organisations that have been audited during the past 12 months have effectively navigated difficulties related to health risks, resource issues, the restructuring of physical workplaces and the restructuring of the working day by utilising their health and safety management system toolkit.
Whatever the reason for not maintaining your Management Systems, if you have decided that you need to get recertified QSC can give you the support to get you back on track and help your business achieve certification.
To ensure that your management system is in a position the following areas should be considered:
- Arrange to have a complete review of your system, especially if it has been a while since you were audited and your certificate expired. Typically, a Gap Analysis is a good way of reviewing the system. This helps to identify strengths as well as weaknesses in the system. Additionally, review your last external audit report to see if any non-compliances were identified to allow a starting point for reviewing your system.
- Following the review, where areas of weakness and non-compliance(s) are identified improvements will need to be carried out and implemented to close the non-compliance(s).
- As part of the review the company should consider carrying out a Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Target (SWOT) analysis of the business. This should be done with involvement from all employees.
The benefit of doing such analysis will help the business identify risks and opportunities for improvement, which can then be risk assessed to identify the major issues and encourage focus on these areas to drive improvements. Where opportunities are identified, these again can be promoted to gain the opportunity identified.
The Standards require the business to identify objectives that are measurable. From the SWOT this will allow the company to select the higher risks, select a couple to reduce / achieve (target) and measure the improvement.
- Training and awareness for your staff is critical. Without training how are they to know about the system and what roles and responsibilities they are expected to carry out?
Training can take various forms, from simple toolbox talks through to full academic courses. Most businesses tend to carry out toolbox talks with all the staff on different topics related to the relevant Management System. The training must be recorded and maintained.
- When all of the issues identified in the Gap Analysis have been completed, then Internal Audits should be completed followed by a Management Review.
- Once the Management Review has been completed, then you can opt to have a UKAS Certificated Certification Body audit your IMS, or if you feel UKAS is not a priority for your business, we can offer to carry out an External Audit on your system. Following successful completion of the Audit, we will award you with a certificate to show that your system meets the criteria of the ISO Standard (s).
So to conclude, to get recertified:
- Complete a Gap Analysis of your system and identify the areas of compliance and non-compliance.
- Implement improvements to the management system as necessary.
- Train the staff in the system to ensure the company gets the best from them, and they understand their roles and responsibilities.
- Carry out Internal Audits and finally a Management Review.
- Then arrange for an External Audit to take place.
So, if you require ISO Certification and the services of an ISO Consultant, call Andy Adams at Quality Systems Consultancy on 01889 881887 or 07900 558547 or for an informal and confidential discussion. Our head office is located in Staffordshire and we work throughout the UK.
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Achieving ISO14001 does not have to be hard work. With the right approach and with top management commitment we can guide you every step of the way to ensure that your procedures are fully compatible with the requirements of the standard.
QSC Consultancy can offer a full Health & Safety System compliant with ISO 45001 the Occupational Health & Safety Management System. This system will assist you in managing Health & Safety Risks and facilitate legal compliance.
Quality Systems Consultancy
Quality Systems Consultancy Ltd