What to prepare for the ISO audit?

ISO 9001 certification is divided into an internal and external audit. The external audit refers to a second party audit by the customer and third party audit by a certification body.

Here is a checklist based on my experience as a quality management representative.

  1. Ensure an up-to-date master list and procedures are in the file.
  2. Ensure the internal audit is conducted within the scheduled time frame. Internal auditor are trained and not audit their own works. If a non-conformance report is issued, make sure to respond appropriately.
  3. Hold a management review meeting to review an action plan related to the implementation and improvement of the management system within the scheduled time frame. Make the minutes of all meetings available.
  4. Develop corrective actions to address customer complaints, internal operations, or system non-conformance issues.
  5. Correct any non-conformance issued cited by the certification body.
  6. Ask the certification body for an audit plan to learn the schedule and how it will affect the various departments. Notify the person in charge a month in advance to ensure everything is implemented as needed.
  7. Notify all employees about an external audit at least two weeks before it is scheduled to take place.
  8. Relax and don’t stress over the audit. View any issues as an opportunity for future improvement.


Please go through this checklist three months prior to the audit date. This will provide sufficient time to correct anything not in order.