ISO Consultant & Auditor Competence

Competence is a requirement of many international standards and certification bodies will often wish to see evidence of individuals competency during an external certification audit.  However this can be difficult to prove.  

At Assent Risk Management we often provide internal audits and other support to our clients, and so the competence of our people comes in to scope for the audit.  Here’s how we approach the issue when working with clients:

Competence Requirements

Clause 7.2 of all Annex SL standards require organisations to:

  • Determine the necessary competence of people,
  • Ensure those people are competence,
  • Take actions to acquire the necessary competence,
  • Retain documented information.

With regard to auditor requirements ISO 19011:2018, which covers the auditing of management systems, requires auditors and those managing audit programmes to be objective, impartial and competent.  In fact the word “Competence” is used 67 times in the standard!

Assent’s Approach to Competence 

All consultants working on behalf of Assent undergo a formal on-boarding process where we capture evidence of their competence, insurances and other relevant information.

Consultant’s must meet our requirements for each standard they work on and consultants may add new standards to their capabilities as they receive more training or experience.  

Assent supports consultants who wish to expand their capabilities through formal training, mentoring and observing other competent consultants.  

Find out more:

Formal Training

Our ISO Consultants are usually IRCA Qualified Lead Auditors (see below), but in the absence of that qualification, all consultants hold a qualification relevant to the industry or management discipline they consult in.

Internal Auditors usually have a minimum of IRCA Accredited Lead Auditor in a management system standard + relevant subject specific implementor or awareness training.

Industry/Discipline Experience

Many of our ISO consultants and auditors have industry experience that adds value to their work with our clients.

We appreciate this experience and maintain records via CVs and References where applicable.

Observation and Peer Review

Part of the on-boarding process involves training on Assent’s consulting and audit practices.  

Once complete, new consultants may observe a client session with an experienced consultant, or be observed.   These hours are recorded on our CPD log.

Professional Memberships & CPD

Some management disciplines have recognised professional memberships which we prefer.  

Achieving membership of professional bodies often requires evidence of competence and CPD to be maintained.

Evidence of Competence

Certificates, CVs, References on File 

Any certificates, CVs, references or other relevant documentation is kept within our Talent Tracker system, and can be provided to clients are required or during an external audit.  

Documented on Audit Reports

All Assent audit reports include the role, responsibilities and competence of the audit team, usually on page 3 of the report.

Trade Bodies & Consultant Schemes

Assent maintains membership of several trade bodies and Certification Body Consultant Schemes, which require us to provide evidence of competence.

Report Review Process

ALl internal audit reports are impartially reviewed by our office before being sent to the client.  This enables us to quality check the contents or the report, ensure deliverables are met, identify spelling errors and other checks.

Find out more: Internal Audit Report Review Process – Assent Risk Management 

The Clemark Consultant & Auditor Skills Framework

In 2023 we established the Clemark Consultant & Auditor Skills Framework across all our relevant group businesses, including Assent Risk Management.  

Our skills framework is based on the international standard for competence management and people development, ISO 10015, and forms part of our group TOGETHER programme which drives good and ethical practice within our organisation.

Find out more about the Clemark Consultant and Auditor Skills Framework.

Conclusion

Assent Risk Management is committed to providing clients with competent consultants and auditors to deliver their projects.  

We have a robust on-boarding process in place, report-level checks and a group level skills framework to ensure our clients receive the best service.

If you are required to demonstrate our competence during an external certification audit, contact our office who can quickly respond.

Robert Clements
Robert Clements
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