How do I Audit a Management System for my International Business?

ISO certification enables your business to adopt a globally recognised standard which not only largely improves efficiency and profits – but functions as excellent business tender too.

One of the great benefits of implementing ISO Standards within your organisation is that they are recognised and respected all across the globe.

With this in mind – it’s not unusual for organisations to extend the scope of their ISO Certification to cover their locations around the globe. Although Assent is a UK based business, we comfortably support all our clients wherever they operate.

Deciding the Scope of the Audit

The first step when designing an international audit programme is to decide which locations are in scope.

This can be influenced by many factors, including:

  • Diversity of activities that take place at the different sites,
  • Availability of regional resources,
  • Number of staff involved in the processes.

On a side note – It’s very important that all processes relevant to the management system are audited regularly in line with ISO 19011 Internal Audit Guidelines. By adhering to these guidelines, we ensure that you receive the best possible service and results.

Establishing Communication

Operating a management system across different countries requires locally assigned responsibilities and good lines of communication.

When auditing, whether onsite or offsite, our auditors need the cooperation of those on the ground to enable us to see the objective evidence that your management system is meeting your intended outcomes.

There are many other benefits to establishing communications between your different sites, including sharing lessons learnt from incidents or nonconformities, and having local knowledge of different work practices and cultures.

Choosing a Certification Body

If you have international locations then you should choose your cert body carefully.

Ideally, you should work with a certification body that has a physical presence in each country that your management system scope covers.

Make sure they are accredited by the local body,

For example UKAS in UK, ANAB in America etc.

Find out more about choosing the right ISO Certification Body for you.

Remote Audits using Technology

While it is always preferable for our auditors to attend your site, sometimes this isn’t possible for practical, cost or environmental reasons.

Some areas of ISO standards can be audited just as effectively using screen sharing software remotely.

Adoption of cloud software also means many records can be sampled from any internet connection.

It should be noted that we would still need a representative of your organisation present to facilitate secure access to the data but that could be someone based in any of your locations.

We use several conferencing tools which allow voice, video and screen sharing.

Training Internal auditors

There may also be an opportunity for the company to train people internally to conduct the onsite aspects of the audit programme, providing they are not directly involved in the area being audited.

We can help your team by providing internal auditor training and supporting their audit work remotely, as part of an audit programme managed by Assent.

Onsite at International Offices

Although we are a UK based consultancy, we have a network of consultants around the globe with a diverse range of skills and experience, who can attend your sites in person.

We also have a great in-house travel management function which ensures we can get our best people to the right places for minimum cost to the client.

Minimise Carbon Footprint

As a responsible organisation we always try to minimise our carbon footprint.

This means minimising travel wherever possible by using technology solutions as discussed above, or when we need to travel, we look for the most sustainable means, including public transport.

Get in touch

Ensure your international business is running efficiently, securely, and generating maximum profits.

Contact us to discuss your international audit programme.



Kaidee Clark
Kaidee Clark
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