A lot of organisations are not clear on what is the purpose of an ISO Certification reassessment (sometimes referred to a recertification audit). A reassessment will occur every 3 years and you will notice that the time required will be more than a surveillance visit for a number of reasons.
To give you an insight into how a Certification Body like Auva will calculate audit time, we are required to use IAF MD5 which is free to download from the IAF website here. The document sets out the audit time for initial certification, surveillance and reassessment visits for ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001. There is a table within the document for each of the standards and the time is set for an initial assessment, the surveillance time is one-third of the initial assessment time and a reassessment is two-thirds of the initial assessment time.
The reason why a reassessment is longer is to allow sufficient time for the auditor to cover the entire management system again. During an initial assessment we are required to audit the entire management system, during a surveillance visit we will take a small sample of the system and are not required to cover all clauses. During a reassessment we are required to cover the entire system again.
This is not the only reason for the assessment being a little longer,it’s also there to enable the auditor to review the last three years worth of performance and evaluation records to determine if there are any trends; positive or negative.
When a surveillance visit is performed we take a snapshot of that year, we will review the internal audits, management review, objectives, KPIs, non-conformances, complaints etc. We ascertain if the system is performing as required. When we perform the reassessment we look back on the records over the last three years to see if the audits have been performed consistently and review the findings to see if you have repeat issues. We look at the non-conformances, again to see if there are any repeat issues. KPIs are reviewed to determine if improvements have been made, have your targets changed or have they been the same for the last three years etc.
The reassessment is a useful process to allow us to focus on particular areas to see if the system is performing as it should, this is usually the time when we really see the maturity of the system and are you gaining the benefits.>>>>
Reasessments should be embraced and it gives you a time to reflect on your overall system performance and management, you should use this time to have the auditor take a birds eye view of the maturity of your system.
For more information on the specific requirements surrounding reassessments you may wish to read our Frequently Asked Questions.