How to handle ISO Recertification

How to handle ISO Recertification

How to handle ISO Recertification

Letting your ISO certification lapse shouldn’t be an option. Your organization benefits immensely by being compliant. With an ever-growing competitive business environment, you will need all the help you can get to keep you on track. Let’s discuss this further.

What could happens when your ISO certificate lapses

Your ISO certificate is due for renewal every three years. In the unfortunate event that you allow it to lapse, you will no longer be considered ISO certified, at least until recertification.

Try to imagine all your products that have the ISO certification branding on them. The advertising and marketing promos will all need rebranding because you would be using the ISO certification mark from certifying bodies. The lawsuits you might face for this could be a costly affair. In such instances, your company runs the risk of losing its credibility. 

But, it helps to know that you can get recertified. 

How does recertification work?

It works similarly to the original ISO certification. Here, an external auditor from a certification body provides recertification after an assessment of your organization, and how you work with your Quality Management System. The lead auditor may also recommend improvements based on your company’s standard operating procedures.

The certification body will review previous documentation on internal auditing and overall business performance and then submit a report.

From here, your organization will have 15 days to make any refinements based on the report.

How to get recertified successfully

Like all things life, planning ahead is crucial. The primary ISO recertification audit should be prepared and actualized three months before the issuance of a new certificate. Advance notice is usually given to the client before recertification begins.

A recertification audit is done to look for any non-conformance.

With that said, the time accorded could be just enough to fix this. So, if you’ve been operating with the Management System, and putting in place the correct measures, then you have nothing to worry about during the audit.

Factors that can lead to a failed recertification audit

Failing the ISO audit means that the auditor recorded major non-conformities like a total breakdown of your Quality Management System, or failure to legal compliance and did not recommend your organization for recertification.

Major non-conformities can be caused by:

  • Company restructuring-A company that has just restructured may take time before they establish the previous flow of things. This may lead to lapses in implementing the QMS.
  • Key skilled personnel leave-when employees who were mandated to oversee the QMS implementation leave, the organization may lag in compliance, especially if they go abruptly.
  • Change of the standard– Whenever a standard is updated, some companies may find it difficult to implement the new recommendations without the help of a specialist. Such an organization may inadvertently fail the ISO audit.

It is not the end for you yet. If an organization fails its recertification audit, a grace period of three months is usually given to rectify major non-conformities before the lead auditor visits again. When in doubt, seek specialized help.

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