There are four main audit findings that can be raised during an audit.

A stage 1 may raise ‘potential non conformances’ – these are areas that will require review and action prior to the stage 2 and that could prevent a recommendation for certification.

At stage 2, surveillance and reassessments there could be a major non-conformance (this is a finding that affects the ability of a management system to achieve intended results – e.g. no internal audits undertaken), a minor non-conformance (an audit finding that does not necessarily affect intended results, but  is not in line with requirements or could lead to a major – e.g. internal audit programme not being maintained).

Finally there are ‘observations’ – these are audit findings that are brought to your attention for consideration as they may form an ‘early warning’ or an ‘opportunity for improvement’ based on the experience of the auditor.

All non-conformances will require you to submit a corrective action plan (as well as evidence as required). All audit findings will be communicated to you as they arise and at the closing meeting, with any required follow up actions / timescales agreed with you at the closing meeting.

If you have any specific questions you can drop us a message.

If you would like to learn how to maintain an effective internal audit process, check out this link.